|OptiCom, a pre-emptive system for traffic lights that the city of Joplin has used to encourage safety for emergency vehicles passing through major intersections, has now been installed at major intersections under the governance of the Missouri Department of Transportation. OptiCom is a lightweight, weather-resistant, encoded signal device that when triggered by a transmitter on an emergency vehicle changes or keeps traffic light greens for their passage.
“This system allows us to approach a dangerous and busy intersection with our emergency vehicles and pass through under a green light,” said Fire Chief Gary Trulson. “It also helps to avoid gridlock that can occur as cars try to move to the side of the road. Obviously, roads with higher traffic can create a hazard as emergency vehicles pass through them. With MoDOT’s cooperation, the city has installed this technology in several high traffic areas.”
MoDOT intersections that now have OptiCom technology include Range Line and 32nd Street, Range Line and 15t Street, Range Line and Newman, Main and 7th Street, and Range Line and 20th Street. The city’s intersections with OptiCom are located on the main corridors, including Main Street, Connecticut, Maiden Lane and Schifferdecker.
“Our drivers will continue to use extreme caution when traveling to a scene. This facilitates a safer transition through the intersection,” said Trulson.