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Over the next week throughout Marco, technicians will be installing a remote relay sensor system at each of the eight traffic light intersections as a coordinate to the signals of emergency vehicles.
Its purpose is to optimize the ease and expediency of travel for emergency vehicles in times of crisis.
Whereas the present system is dependent upon the vigilance of the driver to immediately pull over to the side of the road upon hearing the siren, the new system transcends those concerns. Once the signal activates, the traffic light in its path automatically turns red, thus stopping all traffic flow and allowing the emergency vehicle to pass freely.
The signals are being installed as part of the Traffic Control Devices Citywide (Opticom) Project. The $248,000 contract was awarded by City Council to Kent Technologies in October. Grants totaling $133,000 were secured by the city to help cover engineering and construction costs.
“This will level the playing field for the drivers in emergency transport because they won’t have to second guess whether a car is going to pull over to let them pass. The traffic lights will be coordinated with the relay to turn red,” explained James Snyder, a contractor for Kent Technologies. “Those few extra minutes could make the difference between life and death -— and arriving safely at a destination.”
Snyder estimated that the system on Marco will be operational by the end of the month.
“Eventually, the system will be installed at all major intersections throughout Collier and Lee counties,” he said.
With additional reporting by staff writer Leslie Williams