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Thanksgiving traffic helped by highway cameras in Southwest Florida

Posted at 6:44 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 18:49:08-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Two-hundred traffic cameras along Southwest Florida are used to monitor traffic by Florida's Department of Transportation. It's these cameras that D.O.T uses to keep holiday traffic clear.

“We watch out for congestion, back ups, crashes, anything that can stop [traffic]," said Zach Burch, D.O.T Communications Director.

Burch explained that all of the cameras can be watched from a control room in Fort Myers. The cameras allow dispatchers to call for help when accidents happen or back ups occur.

“Highway Patrol, ambulances, fire trucks, the road rangers, whatever it is that we need to get out to the scene to make sure not only are people being taken care of who need help and assistance, but also getting the road cleared as quickly as possible.”

Burch says that the goal is to get any scene cleared within 90 minutes. He says on average 100,000 people use Interstate 75 in Southwest Florida. But for the holidays, he says nearly 2.3 million drivers hit the road in the state.

"It's probably the busiest weekend of the year."

For traffic alerts tune into Florida 511.