Over the last few weeks, three municipalities of varying sizes across the USA have chosen to deploy traffic pre-emption systems from Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) in order to provide priority to emergency vehicles at intersections for faster response times to an incident.
GTT’s Opticom Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) systems work alongside intersection traffic controllers to help ensure fire, police or medical emergency vehicles can move through junctions quickly and safely. When an emergency vehicle needs to navigate an intersection, the system on board the vehicle sends a request to the traffic control cabinet ahead of its arrival. If the request is granted, the light turns green and the vehicle gets a clear path through the intersection. The result is improved incident response times by up to 25%, and reduced intersection crash rates by up to 70%, offering safer journeys for both emergency crews and other road users.
GTT offers two variants of the Opticom EVP system to trigger intersection controllers. The Opticom IR platform uses coded infrared (IR) transmitters mounted on emergency vehicles to provide secure line-of-sight communications with the intersection’s traffic controller to request a temporary right of way.
For more complex installations needing a system that can accommodate hills, curves and extended distances, GTT offers Opticom GPS, which uses Global Positioning System technology and highly-secure radio communications to activate signal pre-emption based on estimated time of arrival or distance. The company also offers a multimode system that is interoperable between IR and GPS equipment, offering a solution in larger areas where multiple jurisdictions may be using different types of priority control.
Recent implementations of Opticom systems include:
The Fire Department in the village of Crestwood, Illinois, has equipped a total of 17 intersections with the Opticom EVP system. Located 17 miles (27km) south of Chicago’s Loop and serving a community of around 11,000 residents, Crestwood Fire Department provides the village with both firefighting and emergency medical services;
The city of Pasco in Washington State has expanded its existing Opticom EVP system to include eight more of its busiest intersections, allowing emergency vehicles to avoid the danger of navigating an intersection against the flow of traffic. Home to more than 70,000 residents, the city is a major player in southeast Washington’s booming wine industry;
In Denver, Colorado, 60 of the city’s busiest intersections have been included as part of an expansion and upgrade to the existing EVP system, improving emergency services response for the almost 700,000 population.