I absolutely loathe road trips. Maybe it’s an inherited characteristic from my dad or maybe it’s just a result of my own impatience, but being trapped in a car for hours on end is not my idea of fun. I even hate my commute to work which is typically only about 40 minutes. Since time is a limited resource, I want to use mine effectively. So any long distance traveling normally involves an airplane.
Recently, my parents were driving to visit my aunt and uncle. They kept passing LVT Units on the side of the road, causing my dad to ask me why we have units literally in the middle of nowhere looking at a two-lane freeway. After all, what happens on these remote roads that needs to be observed?
However, the fact that these highways are remote is the exact reason they need road surveillance. It isn’t just to watch the tumbleweeds and the occasional semi truck move across the camera. Rather, the cameras save time and help with operations.
Road maintenance operations
Before road surveillance cameras were a viable option, departments of transportation had to physically drive on the road to view current conditions, assess the wear and damage to the road, and more. For maintenance that happens once a year, that wasn’t that arduous, but what about the everyday needs? What about when it snows? Previously, plows had to be sent around every inch of interstate because there might be snow. If a plow drove for a couple hours to reach a remote section of the freeway only to find that there wasn’t a flake of snow on the ground, they had to turn back without performing any service and were then delayed in providing the needed plow elsewhere. It was a waste of time, supplies and equipment, and manpower.
Another everyday occurrence on the highways is obstructions. Wildlife, cattle herds, broken down vehicles, unsecured loads, or a plethora of other things can cause issues for drivers. Without the cameras, the department of transportation would never know if and when these dangers occur on remote freeways. You don’t want a motorist hitting a cow that wandered onto the road. That’s like hitting a deer plus 1,000 extra pounds.
With live 24/7 views of vulnerable areas of the freeway, authorities can know the instant there is a problem and take action before anyone gets hurt by a forming pothole, a foot of snow and ice, or a deer carcass in the lane.
Law enforcement operations
Law enforcement groups also rely on highway surveillance cameras. They use the live feeds to help narrow down their search areas on the interstates. This helps them find suspects, as well as identify vehicles, which direction they were heading, and more. Instead of stationing patrol cars along the road or driving miles of freeway, the live feeds allow the highway patrol to focus their manpower to specific areas.
Further use cases help law enforcement direct their efforts even more. For example, if there is a remote road construction site that keeps having speeding cars endangering the workers, the highway patrol can see when and where to station an officer without wasting time and manpower by sending them to the wrong spot.
Livestreams of a road construction project are extremely helpful for local governments, departments of transportation, and more. This allows them to plan accordingly as the project progresses, and ensure their budget is accurate.
However, the live cameras also act as a way to prove that the road construction companies are billing you correctly for their work. You can know the instant the crews arrive and when they leave for the day. Furthermore, you will be able to see their progress all without leaving your office.
LVT Units are purposefully stationed by remote freeways. While they do observe the traffic, they are also there for operational needs. They convey road conditions in real-time, and help departments of transportation, law enforcement, and governments make decisions. Find out more about LVT and how we support the transportation industry in this use case document.