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Boston’s traffic cameras and traffic bots are the latest technology to hit the streets, and a few years ago, many Bostonians weren’t too keen on using them.
Today, traffic cameras have become ubiquitous and the machines have been deployed for years, as many Bostonites look for a quick, efficient way to capture the most-trafficked spots.
Now, with the new SmartCam Boston, the city has some more tools to help drivers catch a few speeding violators.
The Boston City Council approved a $50 million deal in February to buy a fleet of about 1,000 SmartCam cameras, cameras that capture video of drivers speeding or failing to yield to a stop sign or crosswalk.
A portion of the $50,000 will go to paying for traffic cameras to be installed in the city’s downtown core, said city manager Chris Connolly.
“These cameras are going to be really important to our ability to identify speeders,” Connolly said.
“They’ll allow us to quickly identify people who are violating the speed limit, and if they have a citation, we’ll notify them.”
As part of the citywide program, cameras will be installed at several locations, including the Boston Common and Waterfront Park.
The first phase of the project is expected to be complete by the end of the year, with installation planned for a third location, the Red Sox stadium, in 2017.
The city has already installed about 4,000 cameras around the city, with plans to install additional cameras at the Boston Red Sox’s stadium and the Fenway Park in 2019.
The city has also invested $10 million to purchase traffic bots, which are similar to the cameras but with a camera and camera board that drivers can use to catch speeding violator drivers.
The cameras can be equipped with a dashboard camera, which captures video of the driver’s face, a camera with an infrared camera that records the driver moving at a low speed, and an infrared device that records speed in a fixed position on the road.
A device that tracks the driver will record the speedometer reading on the dashboard, Connolly added.
The sensors will be paired with cameras and cameras boards that can be placed at intersections and on the street, Connollys said.
The software will monitor the speed of the cameras and the speedometers to detect speeders, which is helpful in stopping the violators who don’t slow down when they see the cameras.
If the driver doesn’t slow, the sensors will detect the speed on the speed camera.
Connolly said the cameras will also help the city keep tabs on its traffic, which has gotten out of control, as there are more people on the roads than ever before.
“The cameras are really critical for us,” Connollies said.
“Because we’re getting this number of cameras up, the cameras are getting out of hand.
There’s a lot more people driving.
We’re not able to enforce the rules as well as we should.”