April 15, 2020

Nevada Highway Patrol Case Study



The Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) implemented Waycare in 2018 to improve incident identification, response times, and foster better cross-agency collaboration. As a result, the agency benefits from…

    • An average 9 minute reduction in incident identification time
    • Greater context of incident details prior to arriving on scene
    • Improved coordination and mitigation with partner agencies
    • Enhanced tools for preventing future incidents from occurring

Background

NHP, a division of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, is responsible for law enforcement across the entire state of Nevada. Its Southern Command, located in Las Vegas, is uniquely positioned; the agency shares a dispatch center with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s (RTC) Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST), the division responsible for monitoring and controlling traffic in the Southern Nevada region. Though the agencies are located in the same vicinity, exchanging information between departments can be difficult due to the use of different software systems. They needed a common platform to share information in real-time so they could respond to incidents as quickly and prepared as possible. 

Prior to their engagement with Waycare, officers received incident alerts solely from 911 calls routed through their Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Understandably, people in distress are not always the most reliable sources of information, which could often result in misreported locations. Under-reporting due to the by-stander effect was also an issue, leading to more reactive than proactive responses from the force.

 

Solution

Waycare’s Proactive Response solution is fully cloud-based and accessible to NHP users through their mobile digital computers (MDC), tablets, and desktops. The live map displays active incidents, traffic slowdowns, construction zones, road closures, and more. Additional map layers show the location of other NHP Officers, Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) Units, and Roadway Maintenance drivers. Waycare also integrates with FAST’s closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), giving Officers multiple viewpoints of their chosen location.

Officers using Waycare receive incident alerts through an icon-based notification. When they click on the incident, all relevant details appear, including the precise incident location, a 20-second looped GIF, geofenced CCTV footage, insights on current road conditions, as well as relevant notes.

“Having the ability to be on the same sort of platform with the same sort of information and pictures, and identifying the resources that we need, can help our executive management have a better scope of understanding of what’s happening across our valley in these different incidents.” Lieutenant John Arias of the Highway Patrol Division Southern Command. 

 

Results

Waycare has been able to identify incidents nine minutes faster on average than previous methods employed by NHP (based on conclusions from the 2019 annual study). Improvements in incident detection have made it possible for Officers to respond quicker, and the precious minutes count in  dangerous, potentially even life-threatening situations. “With utilizing the Waycare platform, getting these calls, identifying exactly where they are, and even getting a picture of the scene, our officers know exactly where they’re at so they’re not responding to the wrong location,” says Lt. Arias,  “…extending the time to those valuable minutes to get to the incidents to keep them safe, provide life-saving steps, or avoid secondary collisions.”

Having a common platform with partner agencies has also enabled significant improvement in NHP’s ability to coordinate and collaborate interdepartmentally. The agency accesses the same information as FAST, Nevada Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), and Highway Maintenance, resulting in better-informed decisions. “They made a platform that allowed us to exchange information seamlessly. And the true benefit to something like that is when you are actually able to share what we’re seeing here with the units in the field as if they were here,” says Theresa Gaisser, Manager of Engineering at RTC FAST. 

Further Expansion: 

In 2019, NHP was awarded $188,970 through the National Safety Council’s Road to Zero grant. Using these funds NHP, in partnership with NDOT and RTC, leveraged the Waycare platform to identify and deploy five strategic traffic management sites (STMS) intended to slow down speeding drivers for increased traffic safety.

These sites are elevated, protected platforms in highly visible locations built along the high-risk corridors of I-15 and US-95. The locations were selected through Waycare insights produced by analyzing time and location clusters where heavy incident activity was prominent. Based on these insights, upstream locations were selected for STMS construction.

The concept was previously tested during a 2018 pilot program, using Waycare’s AI technology to identify critical times and locations where preventative measures would help ease traffic congestion and reduce crashes. The initial pilot was successful, taking place on I-15 south of Russell overpass, showing that 91% of speeding drivers slowed down below 65 mph while the STMS pilot sites were active. Furthermore, NHP and NDOT observed a 17% reduction in crashes during this period.

During the month of February 2020, NHP Officers were actively stationed at four different STMS locations during targeted time periods:

  • I-15 Northbound at Cactus
  • I-15 Northbound at Russell
  • I-15 Southbound at Lake Mead
  • US-95 Southbound at Cheyenne 

The preventative activity at I-15 Northbound at Russell proved to be very effective, resulting in a 47% decrease in reported incidents while the officers were positioned at the STMS locations. However, the same could not be said for the other preventative sites, which experienced little to no decrease in incidents. Taking these findings into account, NHP and Waycare are changing strategies to model the optimal configuration of the successful STMS location at I-15 NB at Russel. The project provides useful intel into proactive traffic management approaches. 


Next Steps: 

Following the continued success of implementing the Waycare platform, NHP is expanding its Waycare integration to its northern command center in Reno. These activities are projected to enhance the safety and efficiency of Northern Nevada’s roadways.


Related Media Articles

  • [VIDEO] Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) Uses Waycare for Proactive Traffic Management – Link
  • Nevada agencies use AI platform to select STMS locations on high-risk corridors – Traffic Technology Today – Link
  • NHP using artificial intelligence to make freeways smarter and safer – News3 Las Vegas – Link 
  • Nevada police uses Waycare AI to prevent crashes – ITS International – Link
  • Waycare Platfrom Deployment in Southern Nevada Traffic Management Center – National Operations Center of Excellence – Link 

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