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Aurora Police Launches Photo Speed Program

Aurora Strengthens Commitment to Traffic Safety with Launch of Photo Speed Program
Posted on 07/14/2023

(July 14, 2023) – As part of the city of Aurora’s commitment to public safety, the Aurora Police Department launched Friday a photo speed enforcement pilot program, which city council approved in July 2022. The goal of this new program is to make travel on city roadways safer for all road users.

At the conclusion of the 13-month pilot program, an analysis will be conducted to determine the effectiveness and impact of the program and if it should be adopted on a permanent basis. Warnings will be given to violators during the first 30 calendar days of the pilot program, and citations will be issued thereafter.

There has been a rise in crash fatality rates both across the U.S. and within Colorado. Since 2019, annual crash fatalities have increased by 18% across the U.S. and by 28% in Colorado, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The primary goal of the program is to reduce the number of crashes caused by speeding in Aurora, and the resulting property damage, injuries and fatalities.

“Traffic fatalities have been on the rise in Colorado and throughout the country, and speeding is a major contributing factor,” said Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo. “We recognize as a department that something must be done. The photo enforcement program is another important tool that we will utilize in our mission to keep our residents and the traveling public safe.” 

In 2022, 50 people died in crashes in Aurora, and there were nearly 5,000 crashes citywide. Annual crash fatalities have increased in the city by 32% percent since 2019. The Photo Speed Enforcement program is designed to reduce the risk of fatal crashes by discouraging speeding in high-risk areas. The program also addresses resident complaints about speeding in recent years.

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report examining 2020 crash data, 11,258 of the 38,824 people who died on America’s roadways were involved in a speeding-related crash, which was a 17 percent increase over 2019. National crash data shows 2021 saw a 16-year high for traffic fatalities, with 2022 seeing only a slight reduction compared to the previous year’s record high.

“Studies show there is a direct correlation between receiving a speeding ticket and a motorist changing future driving behaviors,” said Lt. Carrigan Bennett with the Aurora Police Department Traffic Section. “Once deployed, we expect the photo enforcement vehicles will prompt safer driving habits, especially near schools, around parks and in our densely populated residential neighborhoods.” 

Like photo enforcement programs in Denver and other communities, Aurora’s program will feature vehicles equipped with advanced laser systems capable of pinpointing a speeding vehicle, even on a multi-lane road. The vehicles will operate seven days a week. Photo enforcement programs have proven successful in deterring speeding and reducing crashes and fatalities.  

Photo enforcement vehicles are typically located in residential areas where the speed limit is 35 mph or less, school zones, streets that border municipal parks, and work zones. Locations will be chosen based on traffic safety risks, data history and public feedback, and vehicle operators will periodically return to areas to gauge how effective they are in improving driver behavior. Photo enforcement vehicles will park in the open, and signage will be placed ahead to warn motorists of the enforcement zone, in accordance with state law. 

Fines are state capped at $40 per citation, and $80 in school zones. Motorists who receive a citation for driving more than 25 mph over the posted speed limit also will receive a summons, which can be disputed in Aurora Municipal Court. Fines will help cover the cost of the program, as well as neighborhood traffic calming projects across the city. 

For more information about the photo enforcement program, visit Keeping in mind the types of roads that are eligible for enforcement under the program, residents can also contact Access Aurora to share suggestions on which streets in Aurora should be monitored.

Joe Moylan
Public Information Officer

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