Pan-and-tilt cameras are installed to help the Long Island (N.Y.) Transportation Management System (

Motorists, police, firefighters and highway repair crews all benefit from Long Island, N.Y.‘s INFORM (Information FOR Motorists) system, one of the nation’s largest and most advanced traffic information systems for motorists. INFORM is part of Long Island’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).

Contributing to the video surveillance system’s impressive list of accolades is nearly 100 camera stations, 60 of which have been outfitted with custom-built, pan-and-tilt systems from Vicon Industries of Hauppauge, N.Y.

The INFORM system covers Long Island’s 50-mile central corridor, which consists of the island’s major east-west highways and its busiest north-south connecting routes. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the system’s core is its Transportation Management Center (TMC), located at the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Long Island Regional Headquarters in Hauppauge, N.Y. In addition, INFORM was Long Island’s first fiber-optic system used for traffic control.

Cameras, Sensors Help Officials Warn Motorists

Most information for INFORM comes from about 2,400 electronic sensors embedded in the roadways at half-mile intervals. When a vehicle moves over a sensor, it sends a signal to the TMC, where the system continuously measures and analyzes changing traffic conditions. Computers indicate system conditions on an electronic display panel; traffic information coordinators can immediately spot delays and determine the volume and speed of traffic on various highway sectors.

128-Input Switcher Is Heart of Video System

Video INFORM’s current CCTV system is an upgrade. The original broadband system employed two switching systems. Today’s system uses fiber-optic cable. Video and control for every camera is accomplished with one system. Vicon’s NOVA Matrix 66 switcher is at the heart of INFORM’s video system.

Installation Takes More Than 2,000 Man-Hours

CCTV system installer CHS Inc. of Farmingdale, N.Y., integrated the new fiber-optic equipment with the existing broadband system into the Vicon Matrix 66. CHS also wrote the operator manuals and software macros.

System’s Applications, Outlets Are Many

The INFORM system’s video activity is also routed to Cablevision, the local cable company in Woodbury, N.Y., for use during traffic report segments. Metro Traffic and The Weather Channel use INFORM cameras’ activity to provide viewers with the latest road information.Experts predict that traffic congestion can be reduced by 20 percent by 2011 in areas that use ITS. In the meantime, ITS technology reduces air and water pollution, tragic accidents, and dangerous spills.

Brenda Moss, president of Palatine, Ill.-based Final Draft Editorial Services Inc., has been a security industry writer since 1989. Her clients include trade publications and providers of security-related products and services. She can be reached at (847) 991-6586 or [email protected].

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