New Traffic Lights in Folsom Can Tell When You’re Speeding

FOLSOM -- The City of Folsom has started using new technology on some of its traffic lights, using high-definition cameras to determine when a light should change.

The city believes it will help solve traffic problems, save money and reduce speeders.

“We’re using some video detection systems out there. So, they’re relatively new for the city of Folsom,” city civil engineer Zach Bosch said.

The city of Folsom has put in 15 high definition cameras across the city that can detect when and how fast a car is approaching.

Six are now on the new signal lights on Empire Ranch Road, where the city has historically had issues with speeding.

“A two-and-a-half-mile long stretch of road with no traffic controls and the speeds were getting up into the 55-to-60-mph range,” city engineering manager Mark Rackovan said.

With a push of a button from City Hall, engineers have changed the timing of the lights -- so that someone driving over the posted speed limit will be waiting at several red lights, while other drivers going the right speed will never have to stop.

“That’s the ultimate goal of all traffic lights, is to know when a car is coming and then switch to a green light appropriately,” Bosch said.

This new system costs about $20,000 per intersection, the same as the older loop sensor technology.

But those loop sensors require crews to cut into the pavement to install them, and changing the light’s timing must be done on-site.

The camera detection system, however, can be changed remotely. Plus, they’re cheaper to maintain, meaning more are coming.

“We’ve already retrofitted East Bidwell Street. We’ll be looking at our other major corridors on Blue Ravine Road and Folsom Boulevard,” Rackovan told FOX40.

The cameras won’t be used to issue speeding tickets.

“No long-term recording or archiving,” Rackovan said. “They are also not used for enforcement, so they’re not snapping people’s license plate numbers and issuing red light tickets, for example.”

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