Motorists travelling along Highway 2A have been experiencing shorter wait periods at the Westmoreland, St James traffic signal junction. The Electronic Unit of the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) recently installed new sensors, called loop detectors, at the traffic lights junction following complaints of excessively long wait times there.
Electrician with MTW’s Electronic Unit, Glenn Clarke explained that the traffic backups were a result of damaged loop detectors which were ripped when the road was repaved. The Unit reinstalled the loops which detect the presence of vehicles at the stop lights as well as manage the flow of traffic at a signalized intersection.
According to Clarke, when the sensors detect that a car is present, the traffic light will turn green. However, if there is no vehicle present, the signal will remain red. Once the sensor keeps detecting vehicles on a phase, it will maximize the allotted time for that phase, allowing more vehicles to pass through. However, if there are fewer vehicles, the time will be shortened, saving time in the long run.
“So now, we can expect the traffic to be moving much more freely [at the Westmoreland traffic lights junction]. There will be more time on the straight-through phases from north to south and south to north as a result. The sensors will also allow vehicular traffic going straight to move concurrently with vehicles turning right, coming from the same direction,” Clarke said.