A traffic camera is a video camera that is located along highways, freeways, motorways, auto routes, expressways, and arterial roads. The purpose of this device is to watch and record traffic on the roads, which is then transmitted to a monitoring center. The monitoring center receives all video live and in real time, and if there is an emergency or safety road issue, they dispatch the information to law enforcement. Interestingly, the cameras are connected via optical fibers located next to or under the road. The main power company in urban areas or an alternate power source (like solar panels) provides the electrical power to these cameras. With this provision in place, the cameras are able to provide continuous images and no power outage or bad weather can stop it.
As a major part of most intelligent transportation systems, these cameras are valuable in tunnels, where if needed, safety equipment can be activated remotely. While on arterial roads, the cameras are mounted on traffic light poles at intersections where problems usually happen. In addition, traffic cameras are different from road safety cameras, as those cameras are put into specific places to enforce the rules of the road. Once a trigger is hit, the safety cameras will take a high resolution image, while the traffic cameras are mainly used for observation.
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