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Video Surveillance for Traffic

Traffic cameras are an innovative and extremely functional use of  video surveillance technology. You’ve seen their footage during traffic  reports on the TV news. They’re atop traffic signals and placed along  busy roads, and at busy intersections of the highway. Whether they’re  recording traffic patterns for future study and observation or  monitoring traffic and issuing tickets for moving violations, traffic  cameras are an explosively popular form of video surveillance.

Advantages of Traffic Surveillance Cameras

Aid Commuters – Traffic  cameras placed at common congestion points on highways, freeways,  interstates and major arteries often share feeds with news outlets –  both radio and TV, which in turn pass them onto commuters in the form  of traffic reports. Normally, traffic flows do not vary much from day  to day, but in the event of a severe accident or road closure, a  traffic alert can be extremely valuable for a time-crunched commuter.

Valuable Data – Traffic  cameras that simply monitor car flows on roads and major arteries are  often maintained by state departments of transportation. Along with  monitoring the roads for accidents or major closures, footage from  traffic cameras is influential in decisions regarding future road  development and construction.

Enforce Laws – Cameras used to enforce speed and red light laws are effective in catching moving violations and issuing tickets.

Encourage Safe Driving – Visible surveillance cameras posted at intersections can encourage safe driving habits and discourage moving violations.

Risky Aspects of Traffic Security Cameras

Weather –  Whether they’re monitoring intersections or looking out for traffic  jams, traffic cameras are subject to damage caused by weather. Heat,  wind, rain, snow and ice can all damage or ruin a traffic security  camera.

Accidents – Since they’re placed on busy roads and intersections, there is also a chance that accidents could damage traffic cameras.

Configuration Considerations for Roadway Cameras

Traffic  monitoring cameras and red light or speed cameras have different  purposes and therefore deserve separate consideration when installing.  Consider the following when looking to install traffic monitoring or  red light cameras

For traffic surveillance cameras:

  • What are the major roadways in your area?
  • At what time is traffic in your area the heaviest (aka “Rush Hour”)?
  • Are there certain features in roadways where traffic naturally congests?

For speed and red light cameras:

  • Are there any particular intersections in your area where accidents and violations are common?
  • Are moving violations a particular problem in your area?

Setup Advice for Traffic Surveillance Cameras

For speed and red light cameras:

  • When  installing cameras, make sure that all areas of the intersection are  covered. Usually, cameras are placed above the signals or mounted on  each corner of the intersection
  • Consider installing a flash or other light source for night recording
  • Consult with local law enforcement to find the most troublesome intersections
  • Make sure your cameras are placed and calibrated to record the license plate data off of violating cars.
  • To protect cameras against the elements, place them in environment-controlled housings.

For road surveillance and monitoring cameras:

  • Place cameras so they overlook common congestion areas
  • Make sure cameras have adequate visibility and a good view of all lanes involved
  • Temperature and humidity controlled camera housings can help protect the camera against weather.