What Are PennDOT Traffic Cameras?


Quick Answer

PennDOT traffic cameras are traffic surveillance systems that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation uses to track traffic patterns and identify problems on streets and highways. In addition to using this data internally, PennDOT allows free access to the feeds online, allowing commuters to check road conditions before setting out.

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Full Answer

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation maintains a large network of live traffic cameras, most of which deliver snapshots to the DOT website every five seconds. In addition to being situated at major intersections, these cameras are also arranged down the length of major arteries and expressways, allowing users to survey the length of a route and not just conditions at one particular site. This is useful for tracking traffic speeds and identifying the length of traffic jams that may not be apparent from checking a single site.

PennDOT traffic cameras do not record video or images for archival purposes, but merely to give a real-time view of traffic conditions on the roads. The cameras are typically arranged in such a way that tracking or identification of a single vehicle would be impossible given the large gaps between cameras and the resolution of the feeds, and any incidents on the road would only be visible if they occur in one of the few spots under direct surveillance.

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