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Traffic Incident Management > Surveillance & Detection


A variety of surveillance and detection technologies can help detect incidents quickly, including inductive loop or acoustic roadway detectors, and camera systems providing frequent still images or full-motion video. Information from wireless enhances 911 systems, mayday, and automated collision notification systems, as well as roadside call boxes can also help incident management system personnel identify incidents quickly.


Georgia’s Call Box Project: Evaluation and Future Deployment Recommendations(4-7 June 2001)

In Georgia, call boxes installed on a 39-mile section of I-185 were estimated to eliminate one injury per year, and one fatality every five years.(May 2000)

Overall benefit-cost ratio for traffic incident management-oriented ITS program estimated to be 3.16.(July 31, 2015)

Highway segments with dynamic message signs found to have 16.6 percent fewer crashes than those segments without the signs.(July 31, 2015)

An automated incident detection procedure developed for arterials detected 75 percent of reported incidents and had a false alarm rate of 26 percent.(August 1, 2012)

Delay savings benefit-to-cost ratio of 8.5:1 found with deployment of a traffic incident management system in Knoxville, Tennessee (05/01/2012)

New Jersey Department of Transportation enhanced incident management efficiency by using I-95 Corridor Coalition’s Vehicle Probe Project data, experiencing an estimated savings of $100,000 per incident in user delay costs.(August 12, 2010)

Using sensors and traffic cameras for incident identification and verification yielded benefit-to-cost ratios of 6.54:1 and 12.47:1, respectively.(April 2007)

TMC staff in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania found real-time traffic information useful and noted that it improved coverage for incident management.(5 September 2002)

A simulation study indicated that integrating traveler information with traffic and incident management systems in Seattle, Washington could reduce emissions by 1 to 3 percent, lower fuel consumption by 0.8 percent, and improve fuel economy by 1.3 percent.(September 1999)

A simulation study indicated that integrating traveler information with traffic and incident management systems in Seattle, Washington could diminish delay by 1 to 7 percent, reduce stops by about 5 percent, lower travel time variability by 2.5 percent, and improve trip time reliability by 1.2 percent.(September 1999)

Advanced traffic management systems in the Netherlands and Germany reduced crash rates by 20 to 23 percent.(August 1999)

The delay reduction benefits of improved incident management in the Greater Houston area saved motorists approximately $8,440,000 annually. (7 February 1997)

In Toronto, the COMPASS traffic monitoring and incident information dissemination system on Highway 401 decreased the average incident duration from 86 to 30 minutes per incident.(1997)

Overall benefit-cost ratio for traffic incident management-oriented ITS program estimated to be 3.16.(July 31, 2015)

Highway segments with dynamic message signs found to have 16.6 percent fewer crashes than those segments without the signs.(July 31, 2015)

Delay savings benefit-to-cost ratio of 8.5:1 found with deployment of a traffic incident management system in Knoxville, Tennessee (05/01/2012)

A multi-jurisdictional emergency response crew in the Phoenix metropolitan area provides services to six cities with a benefit-cost ratio of 6.4:1.(August 2007)

Using sensors and traffic cameras for incident identification and verification yielded benefit-to-cost ratios of 6.54:1 and 12.47:1, respectively.(April 2007)

In Monroe County, New York, the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera provided traffic operators the availability of visual information so they can examine real time incident conditions and provide a higher and more responsive quality of service to the traveling public.(August 2006)

In North Carolina, a work zone equipped with smart work zone traveler information systems observed fewer crashes compared to other work zones without the technology.(May 2005)

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, work zone surveillance and response at the "Big I" Interchange reduced average clearance time by 44 percent.(4-7 June 2001)

During the first year of operations at the "Big I" work zone in Albuquerque, temporary traffic management and motorist assistance patrols reduced the average incident response time to less than eight minutes, and no fatalities were reported.(4-7 June 2001)

Advanced traffic management systems in the Netherlands and Germany reduced crash rates by 20 to 23 percent.(August 1999)

In Japan, a real-time incident detection and warning system installed on a dangerous curve on the Hanshin Expressway decreased the rate of secondary crashes by 50 percent.(October 1997)

In Brooklyn, an incident management system on the Gowanus and Prospect Expressways used CCTV, highway advisory radio, dynamic message signs, and a construction information hotline to improve average incident clearance time by about one hour, a 66 percent improvement.(May 1997)

The delay reduction benefits of improved incident management in the Greater Houston area saved motorists approximately $8,440,000 annually. (7 February 1997)

Driver confidence in traveler information improved after implementation of the TransGuide freeway management system in San Antonio, Texas.(12-16 January 1997)

In San Antonio, Texas, a freeway management system reduced fuel consumption by an estimated 2,600 gallons per major incident.(12-16 January 1997)

In San Antonio, Texas, a freeway management system led to an estimated delay savings of 700 vehicle-hours per major incident.(12-16 January 1997)

Following deployment of the TransGuide freeway management system in San Antonio, Texas, crash frequency was reduced by 41 percent and incident response time decreased by 20 percent.(12-16 January 1997)

In Toronto, the COMPASS traffic monitoring and incident information dissemination system on Highway 401 decreased the average incident duration from 86 to 30 minutes per incident.(1997)

In Puget Sound, Washington, a survey of drivers equipped with in-vehicle emergency communications found that 95 percent of respondents felt "more secure" with Mayday voice communications, and 70 percent felt "more secure" with data communications.(September 1997)

Incident Management Simulation on a Freeway Corridor in Honolulu(8-12 November 1999)

Over a 20-year lifecycle, NG9-1-1 would likely cost about the same as maintaining the status quo of the current 9-1-1 system, but deliver 80 percent additional value.(03/05/2009)

Full ITS deployment in the Seattle area projected to result in 8 percent fewer fatal crashes, and 3 percent fewer injury and property damage only crashes annually.(May 2005)

Full ITS deployment in the Seattle area projected to reduce recurrent congestion delays by 3.2 percent and incident related delays by 50 percent.(May 2005)

Full ITS deployment in Seattle projects personal travel time reductions of 3.7 percent for drivers and 24 percent for transit users.(May 2005)

Full deployment of comprehensive ITS strategies in Seattle are projected to reduce CO, HC, and NOx emissions by 16 percent, 17 percent and 21 percent, respectively and reduce fuel consumption by 19 percent.(May 2005)

Full ITS deployment in Seattle projects vehicle speeds to increase by as much as 12 percent on major roadways.(May 2005)

Modeling performed as part of an evaluation of nine ITS implementation projects in San Antonio, Texas indicated that integrating DMS, incident management, and arterial traffic control systems could reduce delay by 5.9 percent.(May 2000)

Evaluation indicated that integrating DMS and incident management systems could reduce crashes by 2.8 percent, and that integrating DMS and arterial traffic control systems could decrease crashes by 2 percent, in San Antonio, Texas.(May 2000)

Evaluation of freeway DMS integrated with incident management in San Antonio, Texas, found fuel consumption reduced by 1.2 percent; integrating the DMS with arterial traffic control systems could save 1.4 percent. (May 2000)

Innovations in Transportation and Air Quality: Twelve Exemplary Projects(1996)

In Georgia, the cost to install 147 cellular/solar powered call boxes, connect them to an emergency call center, and provide agency training was estimated at $911,873.(May 2000)

Indiana initiated a $34 million ITS project to offer advanced incident messaging, traffic flow monitoring, and detection of wrong-way motorists at toll roads.

A seaport technology program planned for the Port of Oakland was projected to cost $30.6 million.(01/29/2018)

Florida DOT District IV 2006 budget supports a variety of SMART SunGuide transportation management center programs.(January 2007)

The Pennsylvania (PA) Turnpike Commission expanded its statewide advanced traveler information system (ATIS) to better inform motorists of traffic, weather, and emergency conditions along the PA Turnpike. The overall project cost was $8.2 million.(April 2006)

Florida DOT District IV 2005 budget supports a variety of SMART SunGuide transportation management center programs.(31 January 2006)

The cost of O&M at the Arizona TMC was estimated at $2 million per year.(January 2006)

The integrated freeway/incident management system covering 28.9 miles in San Antonio was deployed for approximately $26.6 million.(May 2000)

A seaport technology program planned for the Port of Oakland was projected to cost $30.6 million.(01/29/2018)

In Spokane, Washington, the cost of integrating ITS field devices with fiber optic links and a microwave link was $1,837,251.(June 2009)

The cost to deploy a new traffic management system in Espanola, New Mexico was $862,279.(September 2, 2008)

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation implemented an interoperable video sharing system costing between $4,000 and $15,000 per facility. (Spring 2007)

Florida DOT District IV 2006 budget supports a variety of SMART SunGuide transportation management center programs.(January 2007)

Monroe County, NY, deployed five CCTV cameras at high priority intersections at a cost of $279,338.(August 2006)

Florida DOT District IV 2005 budget supports a variety of SMART SunGuide transportation management center programs.(31 January 2006)

The cost of O&M at the Arizona TMC was estimated at $2 million per year.(January 2006)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Tucson were estimated at $72.1 million. (May 2005)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Seattle were estimated at $132.1 million.(May 2005)

The $106 million capital cost for CommuterLink - the Salt Lake City, Utah advanced transportation management system - includes numerous components such as a signal system, ramp metering, traveler information dissemination, traffic surveillance and monitoring, and fiber optic network.(March 2004)

Based on data from Florida DOT, the initial costs of a CCTV video camera site ranges from $16,550 to $27,550. Pole height, site spacing, and other design and maintenance issues factor into the life cycle costs.(25 November 2003)

In Lake County, Illinois, TMC physical components cost $1.8 million.(September 2003)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

The integrated freeway/incident management system covering 28.9 miles in San Antonio was deployed for approximately $26.6 million.(May 2000)

The costs of the Integrated Corridor Management Project (ICTM), deployed on an 8-mile section of the I-494 transportation corridor south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, was $9 million.(April 2000)

The total expected risk-adjusted cost of implementing and operating a nationwide NG9-1-1 system ranged from $82 billion to $86.3 billion over the next 20 years.(03/05/2009)

Call box - Capital cost/unit - $6587.15(2/4/2013)

Call Box - Capital cost/unit - $6845 - O&M cost/unit - $1717.5(December 2004)

Call Box - O&M cost/unit - $250(December 2004)

Call Box - O&M cost/unit - $580(December 2004)

Call Box - Capital cost/unit - $7000 - O&M cost/unit - $100 - Lifetime - 12 years(07/28/2006)

Call Box - Capital cost/unit - $7200 - O&M cost/unit - $180 - Lifetime - 7 years(5 August 2004)

Passive Acoustic Sensor on Corridor - Capital cost/unit - $8000 - Lifetime - 8 years(06/1/2001)

Loop Detectors - Capital cost/unit - $4435.7619047619(May 2000)

Digital Detectors - Capital cost/unit - $4435.7619047619(May 2000)

Acoustic Sensors - Capital cost/unit - $4435.7619047619(May 2000)

CCTV Video Camera - Capital cost/unit - $5000 - O&M cost/unit - $2000(January 2008)

CCTV Video Camera - Capital cost/unit - $5000 - O&M cost/unit - $2000(January 2008)

CCTV Camera System and Tower (47 ft no cld) - Capital cost/unit - $16550 - O&M cost/unit - $3600 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera Pole - 60 -Foot - Capital cost/unit - $9100 - Lifetime - 25 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera System and Tower (70 ft with cld) - Capital cost/unit - $27550 - O&M cost/unit - $500 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Pole Fiber Connection - Capital cost/unit - $1550 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera System wo Installation - Capital cost/unit - $9500 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Video Camera - Capital cost/unit - $12000 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Pole Site Installation - Capital cost/unit - $5000(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera System and Tower (60 ft with cld) - Capital cost/unit - $25050 - O&M cost/unit - $500 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera Pole - 70 -Foot - Capital cost/unit - $10600 - Lifetime - 25 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera System and Tower (50 ft with cld) - Capital cost/unit - $22050 - O&M cost/unit - $500 - Lifetime - 7 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera Lowering Device - Capital cost/unit - $3000 - Lifetime - 25 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera Pole - 47-Foot - Capital cost/unit - $6100 - Lifetime - 25 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Pole Site Installation - Capital cost/unit - $3000(25 November 2003)

CCTV Pole Site Installation - Capital cost/unit - $2500(25 November 2003)

CCTV Pole Site Installation - Capital cost/unit - $6000(25 November 2003)

CCTV Camera Pole - 50 -Foot - Capital cost/unit - $8100 - Lifetime - 25 years(25 November 2003)

CCTV Video Camera - Capital cost/unit - $4000 - Lifetime - 8 years(06/1/2001)

5.8 GHz T1 Spread Spectrum Radio - Capital cost/unit - $6000 - Lifetime - 5 years(06/1/2001)

CCTV Video Camera Tower - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - Lifetime - 15 years(06/1/2001)

Video Codec Encoder - Capital cost/unit - $7500 - Lifetime - 8 years(06/1/2001)

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Camera - Capital cost/unit - $25462 - O&M cost/unit - $4606.06060606061(May 2000)

Utilize technology sharing and training opportunities to form mutually beneficial relationships for successful incident management programs.(1/1/2004)

Identify innovative solutions for deploying Information Stations that report real-time data for weather and traffic monitoring in the event of a hurricane.(11/1/2003)

Develop partnerships for a cost-effective approach to deploy remote traffic count stations that will provide real-time traffic data during a hurricane evacuation.(11/1/2003)

Deploy ITS systems strategically to achieve benefits.(6/1/2001)

Integrate freeway and alternate route operations to achieve greater benefits.(6/1/2001)

Focus on detection, response and clearance to improve incident management, only turn to planning diversion routes after these are as robust as possible.(6/1/1998)

Consider cost-saving strategies and long term needs when making communications investments.(6/1/1998)

Emphasize data-driven mobilizations and incorporate Automated Speed Enforcement devices in vulnerable locations to minimize resource needs of speed-limit enforcement.(01/20/2019)

Perform adequate analyses and tests to design, calibrate and validate the capabilities of a bridge security monitoring system in order to reduce false alarms.(01/30/2009)

Beware that modeling may not be a suitable substitute for before-after studies of ITS integration projects.(14 May 2008)

Adopt best practices for integrating emergency information into Transportation Management Center (TMC) operations to improve performance and increase public mobility, safety and security.(2/28/2006)

Invest in research and development for emergency integration.(2/28/2006)

Extend the application of emergency integration best practices to further improve emergency operations.(2/28/2006)

Integrate weather information into Transportation Management Center (TMC) operations to enhance the ability of operators to manage traffic in a more responsive and effective way during weather events.(2/28/2006)

Coordinate extensively with other stakeholder agencies.(1/1/2004)

Use ITS to implement a reliable communications system in work zones.(1/1/2004)

Ensure initial and ongoing success of ITS deployments by providing sufficient start-up time, maintaining flexibility, and performing maintenance needs in-house.(1/1/2004)

Utilize technology sharing and training opportunities to form mutually beneficial relationships for successful incident management programs.(1/1/2004)

Deploy ITS systems strategically to achieve benefits.(6/1/2001)

Integrate freeway and alternate route operations to achieve greater benefits.(6/1/2001)

Consider reconfiguring and integrating existing roadway management IT systems whenever possible to save costs associated with implementing new systems.(10/1/2000)

Follow a modular approach when deploying complex projects in locations with a shortened construction season.(April 2000)

Follow a modular approach when deploying complex projects in locations with a shortened construction season.(April 2000)

Consider cost-saving strategies and long term needs when making communications investments.(6/1/1998)

Beware of challenges involved in developing an integrated statewide operations system for traffic monitoring, incident data capture, weather information, and traveler information—all seamlessly controlled by a central software system. (01/30/2009)

Allocate sufficient resources for technology deployment and operator training to improve incident detection and verification.(April 2000)

Get stakeholders involved in the process to increase the chances for successfully implementing a Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 system.(5/30/2002)

Select appropriate technologies to enable emergency notification and response systems to complement traditional 9-1-1 service.(9/1/1998)

Build a strong partnership between transportation and public safety agencies, and establish clear operational rules from the start.(July 2006)

Deploy ITS technologies including Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for dispatchers and responders in traffic incident management.(2005)

Allocate sufficient resources for technology deployment and operator training to improve incident detection and verification.(April 2000)