AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The Aurora Police Department launched a photo speed enforcement pilot program to crack down on speeding in the city.

“They’ll measure the vehicle coming at them they’ll take a photograph, a short time later they’ll take another photograph, and then a photograph as it leaves the area,” Lt. Carrigan Bennett, who oversees the program, said.

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 and will be placed near schools, work zones, parks and busy residential roads. The photo enforcement vehicles will move frequently based on trouble spots and citizen complaints.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t issue a single violation because everyone would slow down before they got to the vehicle. Unfortunately, we know that’s not the case,” Bennett said.

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 each or $80 in school zones. However, only warnings will be given for the first 30 days of the program.

According to APD, last year 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% since 2019.

The Photo Speed Enforcement program is designed to reduce the risk of deadly crashes by discouraging speeding in high-risk areas. The program also addresses resident complaints about speeding in recent years.

“We know that fatal crashes in Aurora are incredibly high right now. We need to bring that number down, so we need to increase public safety,” Bennett said.

At the end of the 13-month pilot program, the department will look at data to see if it was effective, at which point it could become a permanent program.