Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crash alerts worthwhile

Last week, I was about to head home from the office when I learned of an injury traffic crash at S. 40th St. and Highway 2 in Lincoln., which would ordinarily be on my route. With an injury crash, lots of emergency vehicles would be responding, and I realized that an alternate path would be preferable.

When I got home 20 minutes later, I checked the traffic cameras. Sure enough, the eastbound lanes were essentially a two mile linear parking lot. The standstill persisted for the better part of an hour. I'm sure hundreds of commuters were stuck in that mess on Tuesday, wishing they had known about it in advance.

There's an easy way to be alerted to injury traffic crashes in Lincoln. Get the PulsePoint application, follow Lincoln Fire & Rescue, and opt in to alerts for vehicle accidents and expanded vehicle accidents in the app's settings. Now, when LF&R is dispatched to an injury crash, you'll get a notification on your device.

One tip, though: when you start setting up notifications on things like traffic crashes and fires, you'll want to go into settings on your iPhone, and find the do not disturb feature. It's there in Android, as well, though you may have to dig a little bit. You probably don't want to be awakened when a drunk driver plows into a parked care across town at 2:32 AM!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Director,
You mention traffic cameras. I have questions?
Do these traffic cameras have the capability to store images?
Can these taped videos be reviewed without a court order in a criminal investigation?

IMHO this would be a great tool to aid LEO investigators. However "Privacy Laws" probably have to be considered. I have an opinion on PRIVACY. You have an expectation of privacy in certain places but not ALL places. Common sense should tell you when and where PRIVACY must be protected.

Sorry if this is too far off the topic of your original blog but I think it is connected.

Gun Nut

Tom Casady said...

Gun Nut,

None of the traffic cameras is recorded. These belong to the Public Works Department for use in traffic management--not investigation. I think part of the reasoning for not recording (aside from cost and administration of the video storage) is to avoid the substantial amount of work that a constant flow of public records requests might entail.

Anonymous said...

Director,

Was just wondering, with as much as you talk up Pulse Point, do you or the city make money off of it? Let's face it, when ever you get the chance you are always "pimping" Pulse Point!!

Tom Casady said...

2:04,

No, I do not, and neither does the City. I happen to think it is an innovative, life-saving application--and convenient, too--worth bringing to the attention of as many people as possible, in Lincoln and elsewhere. I don't think I've "pimped it" (14 mentions in 1408 total posts on my blog) much more than iPad (25), P3i (22), LPD RMS (132), Pictometry (16), crimemapping.com (23) or CrimeView/FireView (57)--all of which are other innovative products that I do not have any financial interest in, but think are nice tools for public safety personnel.

Tom Casady said...

2:04,

I forgot Microsoft Excel (86), Google (75), PowerPoint (28), iPhone (25) and the City's traffic camera apps (16). Let's face it, I just "pimp" a lot of tech stuff that I find interesting or useful.

Alex Andersen said...

Speaking of PulsePoint, with the one year anniversary of the official launch approaching, how far has Lincoln blown past it's initial goal, and are there new ones set?

Tom Casady said...

Original goal was 5,000 in year one. The foundation suggest d that 1% of population was a reasonable goal for year one, but I thought we could do better. We are a couple weeks shy of on one year anniversary, and at about 9,300. I'd like to hit 4% of population sometime in
The first half of 2017, which will require just over 11,000.

Anonymous said...

Since we're talking Pulsepoint here, I don't see a way in the app to report non-functioning or missing AEDs. For instance, the AED in the College of Business Administration at 12th & R, interior main hallway, has been missing / 'out of order' since the start of summer.

Brings up the larger question, how to keep such information up to date?

Tom Casady said...

11:32,

That's definitely a problem. We depend on place managers to update information, or for that matter, general public. Next year, one of my goals is to get all the 379 registered AEDs examined for "ground truth." I think a lot of that can be accomplished by phone, but some shoe leather will also be needed.

Anonymous said...

Since someone brought up AEDs...does LF&R provide training in CPR and AED's? If so, do they charge?

gl said...

Have you tried WAZE, a Google App. It tells you where accidents happen, where police are located, where cars are stalled along roadways and more.

Anonymous said...

Can the public see the traffic cameras and how? If not, why not?

Tom Casady said...

9:15,

Of course. For future reference, just go to the City's home page (lincoln.ne.gov), and use the keyword CAMERAS.