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Interstate crash spotlights highway traffic camera use

7:11 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Department of Transportation is using cameras to monitor traffic from Portland to Houlton, and engineers say they are using the latest technology to monitor traffic to improve public safety.

A bad accident on I-295 in Portland shut down part of the road for several hours Friday afternoon and snarled traffic.

MORE: View MaineDOT Cameras

Engineers used a camera set up near the accident scene that took still images every ten minutes. They also used radars to record average speeds of cars to get a sense of how far traffic was backed up. Using the cameras, engineers were able to get information out to first responders and the public quickly.

"A picture is worth a thousand words," said Clifton Curtis, MDOT Assistant Highway Engineer. "We get a phone call and you can receive certain information but until you can see it, now you fully understand it."

MDOT has thirty cameras set up between Portland and Houlton to monitor traffic, and engineers say they are constantly looking at new technology to improve safety.

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