ODOT Takes An Eagles Eye View Of Highway System

Friday, April 27th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

An eye in the sky has some people worried about big brother. Over the past few years the state has installed more than four dozen cameras around Tulsa's highway system. So what are they looking for? The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports they are looking at you when you drive, but they say they're there to help.

Some of you have looked at the cameras as you've driven by and want to know, who's looking back? Brenda Perry with the state Department of Transportation says they've gotten phone calls.

"Well, when drivers see these cameras, they immediately wonder 'Is this being used for law enforcement?' So we've received some questions along those lines," she said.

So what's the answer? Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers have access to about 54 cameras strategically located around the city's highways, but Perry says the cameras are not used for law enforcement. She says the cameras are mainly used to look for traffic slowdowns or accidents. By seeing it in real time, authorities have a much better idea of what's going on.

"It helps some of the first responders to see that. It helps the D.O.T. personnel to see that, and eventually to even make that information available to the driver public before they perhaps they leave out to go on a trip," Perry said.

Which means you could avoid traffic jams and get to where you're going faster, but not too fast. Even though authorities are not looking for speeders, they don't want you to speed.

Right now officials can see about 25% of the highway pavement in the immediate Tulsa area. They plan to place another four dozen cameras around the city in the future.

Watch the video: ODOT Keeping A Close Eye On Drivers