Police program uses traffic data to increase enforcement at Redwood City intersections 

A strategy that uses analysis of some of Redwood City’s more dangerous areas has led the city’s traffic enforcement officers to step up patrols at four key intersections, police said.

Redwood City Police Chief JR Gamez said a new multi-dimensional, citywide approach to traffic collision management will hopefully change driver behavior and reduce the number of crashes on city streets.

“Our department remains committed in its efforts to continually monitor unsafe driving patterns through the use of existing and emerging enforcement technologies,” Gamez said.

A key component to the effort is a computer analysis program called Crossroads that combines both traditional and technical data-driven strategies, such as traffic and collision reports as well as statistics on driving under the influence, to identify problem areas.

The analysis program gauges frequency of activity in a particular location and identifies changes in patterns that might contribute to an increase or decrease in crashes.

Based on the data already collected, police have identified four specific intersections that have seen a recent rise in traffic collisions and will begin to monitor the sites more closely in the coming months.

The identified intersections are Whipple Avenue and Veterans Boulevard, Woodside Road and Broadway, El Camino Real and Whipple Avenue, and El Camino Real and Woodside Road, according to police.

Over the next six months, the department plans to step up enforcement in the four major intersections and analyze the data collected on a monthly basis, according to police.

“We plan to look at the analysis every six weeks to start and if that doesn’t work, we’ll move it to two or three months to get a good read,” said Deputy Chief Gary Kirby.

Kirby called the effort a workforce commitment that is expected to result in a change in driver behavior.

“It’s a process that is not super intelligent, just bare bones, but it helps us use limited resources and really focus on the probability of something occurring in one particular area over another,” Kirby said.

Kirby said the data police collect will provide basic times of incidents, the type of violation and the causes of collisions.

This will allow traffic patrol teams to cater their enforcement to suit the types of infractions that cause the accidents.

Police also hope the public will help mitigate collisions by registering traffic complaints through a new portal called myRWC.

Information and sign-up instructions can be found on any smartphone’s app center, according to police.

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