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Nestor touts ‘all-red’ collision avoidance to FBMA


Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen viewed a presentation from the first of four vendors of automated traffic enforcement systems, Nestor Traffic Systems.

“We are in the final phases of a long process in cooperation with Knox County Sheriff’s Depart-ment in studying the implementation and adoption of the automated red light enforcement system at four of our major intersections in Town,” said Gary Palmer, associate Town administrator.

Red light cameras will be placed at four intersections in Farragut: Campbell Station Road at Kingston Pike, Smith Road at Kingston Pike, Campbell Station at Grigsby Chapel/Parkside Drive and Kingston Pike at Concord Road.

Rick Lenford, regional sales manager, and Bill Tente, enforcement technologist product manager, presented the information for Nestor Traffic Systems.

Nestor uses three cameras at each intersection to catch traffic violators. The cameras provide a tracking/context view, signal view, and an identification view and are mounted over the intersection, not to the side. Nestor does not cut loops into the road; all intersection monitoring is done on a digital grid within the traffic system.

The context camera view tracks incoming vehicles and triggers a recording if the car crosses the “limit line,” or the physical white line on the road.

If the car stops, the recording is discarded. If the vehicle continues through the intersection, the recording catches the violator. This context view also examines extenuating circumstances that may lead a motorist to run a red light.

The signal view shows the color of the traffic signal during the violation; the identification view zooms in to see the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle.

Local law enforcement officers view videos the system captures and decide if they show a violation. Tickets go to the registered owner of the vehicle, regardless of who was driving. Violators receive paper tickets and are allowed to view tickets, thumbnail photographs and video on-line.

Nestor boasts a 99.7 percent conviction rate in North America.

Lenford and Tente reported a 20 percent decrease in red light running in the six years their program has been installed in Germantown.

Lenford claimed that Nestor is the only traffic system vendor with “CrossingGuard,” a program that holds all traffic lights in an “all red extension” if someone runs a traffic light.

This collision avoidance program prevents many T-bone accidents and serious injuries.

However, this program is available only on certain traffic lights, those that already have a “hold red,” or a short time when all signals are red. Lenford and Tente also pointed out that if a light has already turned green, the all red extension cannot be employed.

The Board asked about the increase in rear end collisions with the installation of automated enforcement at intersections.

“We do see some increase in rear end [accidents], especially when the program is new,” Lenford said.

“But when the program is mature, they go away,” he added.

“Safety isn’t just based on collision but on injury,” Tente said, adding that most rear end collisions do not cause injuries as serious as those seen in T-bone collisions.

The Board did not take action on this item during its Thursday, May 22, meeting, but will hear from the three remaining vendors for automated enforcement at upcoming Board meetings.

 

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