Fla. county considers traffic signal project to better response times

The project would cost $1.8 million and will use GPS technology

By Scott Lockwood
North Port Sun

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — The Sarasota County Commission will discuss today a $1.8 million contract for a countywide traffic signal project that aims to enhance the response time of rescue workers.

If the contract is approved, Traffic Control Devices of Altamonte Springs will install a traffic pre-emption system that will use GPS technology that integrates with existing traffic control devices. Sarasota County Fire Chief Mike Tobias said a GPS sensor and transmitter will be mounted on 86 of the county's emergency vehicles and receivers will be mounted on the control signal cabinet of 197 different signals around the county. He said once the receiver senses an emergency vehicle about a quarter of a mile away coming in its direction, the traffic signal will cycle to a green light in the same direction as the vehicle -- and allow traffic to move through the intersection before moving out of the way for the emergency vehicle. All other vehicles traveling in other directions will see a red light.

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