Winter weather and traffic lights

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 2/05 10:46 pm Published: 2/05 10:44 pm

Winter weather coupled with human error might mean a longer wait at the traffic light.
FOX23 found out that traffic crews in Broken Arrow have worked long hours that past week to make sure that sensors and traffic cameras aren’t impacted by the weather.
Sgt. Ed Ferguson with the Broken Arrow Police Department Traffic Division said that the lights aren’t always to blame.
“If you have a roadway that is completely covered in ice or snow and you don’t know where the traffic lanes are supposed to be, the driver may be parked on the white lines.” Ferguson said that if a driver is too far ahead of or behind the ‘stop bars’ the camera sensor won’t recognize the car.
Traffic Signal Specialist Rick Baker said that if the sensor doesn’t detect the car then it won’t signal the control hub to change a light at the intersection.
“The camera visually sees the vehicles and sends the signal to our controller,” said Baker, “It sends a signal out to turn the lights to green, yellow or red.”
Sgt. Ferguson said to alleviate the problem drivers should attempt to align the center of the car with the traffic signal at the intersection. He said that should ensure that the driver is lined up with the sensor.
Baker told FOX23 that the winter weather has caused some problems with the stoplights. He said that his crews have cleaned snow and ice off of traffic cameras across the city.
“We spent several hours doing that when the snow fell,” said Baker, “If you have wind, snow or ice it can blow into the camera lens and obstruct the view.
Baker said that crews are doing their part to keep the cameras clean but, to hit the green light; drivers have to do their part in all kinds of weather.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 2/6/2014 1:15 PM
1 Vote
Those traffic sensors can see you approaching regardless of whether or not you are actually in a lane. Flashing your lights at them can get their attention.
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