San Rafael preempts signals to cut response times

  • August 30, 2022
  • William Payne

California’s City of San Rafael has installed traffic signal preemption technology to improve emergency blue light response times and safety. The signal preemption technology, from Opticom, has cut the time that police can reach the scene of call-outs, while improving safety for the travelling public and improving road safety.

The San Rafael Police Department selected Global Traffic Technologies, Opticom Cloud Platform Solution for emergency vehicle preemption. The project includes fifty-six vehicles and fifty-three signalised intersections, with more planned for the future.

The Opticom solution provides emergency vehicle preemption to the city without requiring GTT hardware on the vehicle. The police vehicles are equipped with intelligent devices that send a signal to the Opticom Cloud Platform, where complex algorithms communicate exact signal phasing needs and vehicle approach data to provide a green light upon arrival at the intersection. This allows officers to respond to incidents more rapidly and to move through traffic safely and effectively.

Sergeant Justin Graham was integral to getting the project off the ground. “Seeing this smart traffic system in use, how it turns the lights green for our approaching vehicles and mitigates traffic, it’s incredible,” Sgt Graham said. “We hope to grow the solution as results continue to measure up. We plan to add more vehicles and intersections in the future to extend the protection of our first responders and allow them to serve the community more safely and effectively.”

“This project in San Rafael shows how partnerships in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) space can better serve communities across the country. We have a legacy of innovation, and our technology solutions evolve rapidly to meet customer and market demands. GTT’s cloud-based solutions give our customers the autonomy to build systems that fit their needs, budgets, and communities. We proudly support the San Rafael Police Department and look forward to growing this solution across additional public safety agencies,” said Terry Griffith, President of Global Traffic Technologies.