Crash Avoidance Technology Sought for Jacksonville

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford has been a big advocate of installing red light cameras at some of the busiest intersections in town. A red light camera is designed to take a picture of the license plate of a red light runner who sails through an intersection, sometimes after the light has already turned red. The driver, whose license is caught on camera, would then face a steep fine of about $250, according to a Florida Times-Union article.

Florida intersection accidents are some of the most common and deadliest, and the hope is that a camera at the intersection will cut down on these T-bone and mid-intersection crashes.

Now Sheriff Rutherford says he’d like to go one step further. Rutherford wants to install crash avoidance technology at intersections as well. This technology senses when a vehicle is traveling too fast to stop and it prevents the red light from changing to green for the other side waiting at the intersection.

When Sheriff Rutherford spoke out however, the state Department of Transportation contradicted him. There is no company currently making crash avoidance hardware, said a spokeswoman for the agency. A discussion erupted in the Florida Times Union that the technology does exist and does what Sheriff Rutherford described. Nestor Traffic Systems is reportedly a company that does take photos of the intersection from several angles, which is useful when determining the at-fault party in an intersection accident.

Whether this technology is also incorporated into Florida intersections, remains to be seen, but expect the red-light cameras, at a cost of up to $5,000 per camera, to soon be installed at the 10 intersections with the most auto accidents in Jacksonville. They include Atlantic and Kernan Blvd, Blanding and Argyle Forest Blvd., Atlantic at Southside, Atlantic at Monument, and Atlantic at University, among others.