In the next few weeks, a new traffic control system, Opticom, will be coming to Holden, and it will change the way in which the traffic lights on Main Street function.
“If you’ve driven in West Boylston or Worcester, you’ve driven with Opticom,” Fire Chief Jack Chandler said.
Essentially, a small, white strobe light will be attached to the lights, so when a fire truck or ambulance is coming, it will flash and notify drivers on the road. It will also create a quick red light for all directions, except the way the truck is coming will be green.
“It is easier to get through those intersections with traffic moving,” Chandler said. “The thing that is going to change is that drivers will need to start paying attention. Sometimes they see a green light and never look up again. This system may cause lights to change to red faster, so drivers need to be aware.”
The Opticom will be installed at all major intersections on Main Street. Chandler said that the system will most likely expand to other intersections in town in the future.
Initially the system will be used by fire engines and ambulances as well as ambulances from other towns. In the future, it could also be expanded for use by Holden Police.
According to Chandler, the system was budgeted for in fiscal year 2015 and will go into affect by the end of June.
“It took a long time to get the permits and to award a bid, but we are finally making progress,” he said. “This is going to make a huge difference in response time for our emergency vehicles.”
Any questions about Opticom and how it works can be directed to the Holden Fire Department by calling 508-210-5650.
Helping Emergency Vehicles in Holden, Massachusetts – Article written by Kimberly Petalas, published in The Landmark.