Traffic signal malfunctions may cost Northumberland

NORTHUMBERLAND – Northumberland may need to dish out some green to fix their red lights.  The borough has been having issues with traffic signal cameras at several intersections.


These cameras are used only to tell the traffic light when to change from red to green, not to record criminal activity.  The camera at King and Water Streets is having trouble detecting traffic during certain hours of the day due to glare and shadows, while the camera at Duke and Water Streets is currently not working at all.


Northumberland borough council is considering buying a new infrared camera for King and Water Streets.  This camera uses new technology that would allow it to detect traffic even when there is a glare or shadow.  The council then plans to use the camera that is currently at King and Water Streets and relocate it to Duke and Water Streets.


Matt Swartz of PennDOT was at the borough council meeting Tuesday night to explain the camera situation.  He said the camera they plan to relocate should work fine in a new location, because the other intersections do not have the same glare and shadow issues.  He also said traffic signals in Pennsylvania are owned and maintained by the borough, so therefore it will need to be fixed by the borough.


The traffic signals are still working, just not to the best of their ability.  Rather than signaling when traffic is near, the lights are working on a timer.  Swartz said if the borough does not fix the issue soon, they are opening themselves up to lawsuits.


Mayor Len Zboray made it clear that they have not yet decided to buy a new camera.  The current cameras were placed in 2009.  No word on how much the new infrared camera will cost the borough.  They are looking into a grant to help offset the cost.  (Codi Jade)




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