Traffic cameras are an important aspect of the transportation system in the United States. They are not the same thing as red light cameras, which are used to take pictures and video of motorists running red lights, sending the picture and ticket to the culprit. In fact, traffic cameras are used for a much different thing. Traffic cameras are used to monitor the flow of traffic, watch for accidents and other safety issues on the highway. These cameras are also helpful when it comes to figuring out which route motorists should take when heading to work, school, shopping, the big game or to family events.

Traffic cameras can be placed at intersections or anywhere else along a roadway that the local Department of Transportation seems fit. They are usually mounted to a traffic light at an intersection or on their own pole anywhere else on the roadway. They are most common on highways, freeways, motorways, auto routes and expressways. They are connected with optical fibers, which are buried either alongside the highway or underneath the highway.

The cameras are controlled at a main monitoring center where they can be turned, zoomed in, zoomed out and powered down. At the monitoring center, the feed comes in live, and the employees are trained to watch for accidents, vehicle fires, rollovers, congestion and any other safety problem that could arise on the roads. Traffic cameras are used more often than not for traffic reporting services. If the cameras are run by the state's Department of Transportation, then traffic reporting services in the area usually have access to them to accurately report backups, delays, gridlock, accidents, road closures and construction zones.

When traffic cameras are being monitored, the employees at the main monitoring base are there to dispatch road assistance for flat tires and stalled vehicles and to dispatch emergency services for accidents, vehicle fires, rollovers and for anyone that is having a health problem while on the roadway. Traffic cameras are used in underwater tunnels and tunnels that run through mountains all across the United States. When traveling in a tunnel, motorists usually lose their cell phone service because they are underwater or inside of the Earth.

By having traffic cameras in tunnels, the monitoring station can notify local police, fire and EMS of any accidents or safety problems inside the tunnel since the motorists will not be able to use their cell phones. Having traffic cameras inside tunnels makes it easier and quicker to dispatch emergency services, which some cameras can do remotely, via different sensors placed within the tunnel near the cameras Autel MaxiPRO MP808TS.

The use of traffic cameras on the roadways, when dispatching emergency services, is helpful because the emergency services can be placed at a certain mile marker. The monitoring center has a log of all the cameras in their jurisdiction and at what mile marker the cameras are located. This allows for quicker response time by emergency services because they can plug the mile marker into their computer and navigate directly to the site of the incident Autel MaxiSys MS906TS.

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