Driving around Dothan, you may have noticed some new additions at several intersections.
The city has been installing cameras above traffic lights.
The cameras main purpose is to keep traffic flowing.
You're on camera.
“It's video detection it's the newer technology that we're using for our traffic signals,” said Robert Cox, Civil Engineer with the City of Dothan.
These eyes in the sky have a single purpose: to help traffic move more efficiently.
“So we can monitor traffic from our office, that's one of the biggest advantages with these cameras,”
But don't worry, if you're speeding or run a red light, you still need to catch the eye of a cop.
“I think a lot of them say, ’oh no I hope I didn't get busted for running a red light.’
One thing the cameras are not, they are not used for red light enforcement. We don't do any type of surveillance with them, we don't record the video,” said Cox.
Here's how the cameras work: when you pull up to the intersection, it recognizes a change in the color contrast and senses the vehicle's presence. The light then prepares to change.
“We can actually do vehicle counts with the video cameras as well so we'll be able to get up to date counts and we'll also be able to take that information to the shop make real-time adjustments to the traffic signal timing based on what we're seeing out in the field.”
Each of these cameras is placed above the traffic light at the intersection of Foster and Main Street. Cox says to put four cameras up at an intersection costs the city about $10,000.
“This is something that a lot of municipalities are going with because there are just so many advantages of video detection,”
So if you see one of these cameras high in the sky...smile...because they're here to stay.
“We're looking at eventually having all our traffic signals with video detection,” said Cox.
Right now in Dothan, there are eight intersections with video detection cameras.
But those red light enforcement cameras are actually illegal in the state of Alabama.
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