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Crowdsourcing speed cameras


Speed cameras have a peculiar place in the popular consciousness.  Despite road accidents remaining one of the biggest causes of death around the world, the positioning of cameras designed to catch (and of course deter) speeding motorists are largely speaking very unpopular.  For many, they are regarded as little more than revenue generating devices that have little interest in improving safety.

Would it help therefore, if the very public they are designed to police had a greater say in their operation?  That was the question posed by a Belgian start-up called ik flits mee.  They wanted to give Belgian drivers the opportunity to play a greater role in ensuring everyone drives safely.

The website ran a pilot project up to April 10th that allowed anyone to log onto the site and nominate locations where they believed speeding was a particular problem.  This could be on a tight bend for instance or outside of a school.  With the entire country as a potential location, the project proved enormously popular amongst citizens.  Collectively they sent in over 50,000 suggestions, which the local and national police forces trawled through to see if any trends emerged that they could then act upon.

In addition to posting suggestions for cameras, residents could also flag up areas that they know to be dangerous, thus crowdsourcing particular areas of risk in real-time.  The hope is that involving residents in the process will not only improve intelligence of where danger spots are, but also help improve driver behaviours by empowering citizens and getting them invested into the improvement of road safety.

As the saying goes, it’s less about build it and they will come, and more build it with them and they’re already there.  How can you get people involved in your own processes?

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