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21 conducted traffic enforcement operations and distributed safety tip handouts to both motorists and pedestrians. LACMTA organized the multi-jurisdictional committee of law enforce- ment. Although the primary thrust of the operation was safety education, law enforcement did issue citations to members of the public who flagrantly violated traffic safety rules (14). Photo Enforcement In an effort to reduce risky behaviors such as driving around crossing gates and running red lights, LACMTA has success- fully used photo enforcement at both gated and non-gated crossings. Along the Metro Blue Line, LACMTA uses photo enforcement to cite drivers for running red left-turn arrows and, as a result, accidents caused by motorists making illegal left turns have been reduced by 62% since left-turn enforce- ment began in 2004 (15) (Figure 25). OTHER Lower Train Speeds TriMet began operation of their MAX Yellow Line in May 2004 with trains operating at 30 mph, as opposed to 35 mph. Although they originally had plans to raise the speed to 35 mph, they have not yet seen a reason to do so. In more than FIGURE 25 Photo enforcement camera (Courtesy: Los 3 years of operation, they have only experienced 11 left-turn Angeles County MTA). collisions, which have been widely distributed across the many crossings along the corridor, and are believed to be the result of in part to the lower operating speeds. Metro Blue Line, and they continue their police presence today. Law enforcement in Los Angeles coordinated a joint Safety Awareness and Enforcement Operation at some of the busiest Train-Mounted Cameras Metro Blue Line rail crossings to take place on a weekday morning. Deputies from Metro Transit Services Bureau, Several agencies, including Houston METRO, Sacramento RT, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Long Beach Police and LACMTA have train-mounted cameras that are positioned Department, and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department outward. Figure 26 shows Sacramento RT's train-mounted FIGURE 26 Sacramento RT's train-mounted camera (left) and view from camera (right) (Courtesy: Sacramento Regional Transit District).
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22 FIGURE 27 Houston METRO's train-mounted camera (left) and view from camera (right) (Courtesy: Houston METRO). camera. In the photograph on the left, the camera is posi- several transit agencies have incorporated the concepts of tioned in the center of the front windshield of the train just motor vehicle defensive driving as part of their new and recur- above the windshield wiper. The photograph on the right rent operator instruction. The concepts focus on LRV opera- shows the view captured by the camera from the train. Fig- tors maintaining an awareness of their surroundings through ure 27 shows Houston METRO's train-mounted camera. In looking well ahead of the LRV's direction of travel, by scan- the photograph on the left, the camera is positioned on the ning from curb face to curb face, and continuous movement of exterior front-right of the train. The photograph on the right the eyes. shows the view captured by the camera from the train. These cameras have been helpful in reviewing collisions to deter- mine causes, which can in turn help agencies identify appro- Standardized Crossings priate mitigation strategies to reduce collisions. TCRP Report 17 recommends that LRT crossings be standard- ized throughout the system (1). Coifman and Bertini (3) point Light Rail Vehicle Operator Defensive Driving out that at many LRT crossings the traffic signal is the only con- trol device to keep drivers out of harm's way. Therefore, every Although LRVs cannot be steered like motor vehicles and effort should be made to standardize LRT crossings throughout have a much greater stopping distance than motor vehicles, LRT systems, and if possible, between LRT systems.