Global Traffic Technologies’ Opticom devices catch the eyes of drivers in Mississippi. They’re not cameras — these devices are helping first responders get to emergencies faster.
Wayne Hereford reports for WTVA News:
TUPELO, Miss (WTVA) — Perhaps you’ve seen them around Tupelo, sitting above traffic next to traffic lights.
We If you look closely you can see them. They are everywhere mounted next to the traffic lights.
They are on Coley Road in West Tupelo.
We also found them at the Crosstown Intersection on West Main Street.
We were curious as to what these were since traffic cameras are illegal on State roads.
So what are they?
“Actually what this is, is a traffic light preemption system called Opticom,” says Tupelo Water and Light Department Manager Johnny Timmons.
Opticom helps emergency vehicles in town get through intersections.
“Emergency vehicles have miters installed in their vehicles. And they’re able to activate these traffic lights and shuts the intersections down,” said Timmons.
And that only gives a green light to emergency vehicles coming through the intersections.
“It gives them the ability of course to respond to these emergencies a lot quicker and a lot safer,” he continued.
Timmons says that the Opticom system has been in place for a couple of years now and some have confused them with traffic cameras.
“A lot of people claimed that they were cameras and we were watching them but again it’s strictly Opticom for emergency vehicles only,” replied Timmons.
He says that Opticom can peer in both directions which helps emergency vehicles get to their destinations a lot quicker.
The City of Tupelo applied for a grant to help pay for the Opticom System.