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On Jan. 28, Nevada lawmakers and media representatives were invited to the National Highway Patrol’s (NHO) Southern Command Headquarters to learn about the newest traffic technology used to improve road safety and response time to vehicle collisions.

The technology, which is used by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), collects data from road sensors, cameras, and monitors then relays it to law enforcement for a better response to road conditions. One of the overarching goals is to get drivers to change their behavior on roadways.

For example, data monitoring has allowed NHP to establish Traffic Management Sites, or the positioning of a patrol vehicle at the most ideal distance from an accident. It can also calculate the likelihood of traffic jams or accidents in certain areas.  NHS representatives claim that because of this technology, speeding has been reduced by 91% and TMS crashes by 71%. Lawmakers can also send text alerts to individuals who are subscribed to RTC alerts and to users of the Waze navigation app.

This tracking technology has already proven itself to be useful. One Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, Clifford Fontaine, was able to see through a feed from a highway camera that an accident he was called to was extremely serious. Without the technology, it could have easily seemed to be a routine crash. Since he was able to view the feed, however, Fontaine and other officials were able to assemble a trooper response team within 30 minutes to remove the vehicles and restore traffic flow. Typically, this could have taken an up to hour.

Lawmakers and enforcement officers alike are excited about the implications this technology has on improving public safety, with Nevada District 9 Assemblyman Steve Yeager saying: “In terms of daily lives to Nevadans, anything we can do to make that daily commute, whether to work or somewhere else, smoother, faster, safer, that’s really a win for all taxpayers.” Moving forward, it will be exciting to see how modern-day technology continues to improve Nevada roadway safety.

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