The appearance of a high-tech video recording device on a stop sign along Middle Road in Bayport is part of a Suffolk County project in which 200 to 250 such cameras are being installed countywide in the next two weeks, according to the Suffolk County traffic division within the county's Department of Public Works and the equipment manufacturer.
Miovision, a six-year-old Canadian company, told Patch the Middle Road camera was installed sometime this past Tuesday to monitor “turning movements” during high traffic volume periods — from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — for a 24-hour period, at the four-way stop of McConnell Avenue and Seaman Avenue. The device was removed Thursday.
The technology is recording vehicle-turning movements and vehicle classifications, plus pedestrians and bicyclists, according to Moivision. The data is captured on the black box device and then uploaded on-line to the company. A data report is then provided to the customer.
The Suffolk County camera project is not capturing facial images or license plate data, according to the company, though the company's technology does provide License Plate Recognition Studies.
In relation to the license plate capabilities, Miovision told Patch the technology is used to determine how long a vehicle takes to travel from one point to another and the license plates at those two locations can be correlated to understand how long a vehicle takes to get from one point to another.
"This is used to measure the effectiveness of a roadway and can be used to determine where improvement/changes need to be made and/or to measure the impact that a change has made," said a marketing spokesperson, adding that Miovision equipment is not used for enforcement or to correlate with any individual.
The county used cameras are recording vehicle behavior data, such as how many cars que up at stop signs and intersections and records the flow of traffic, as well, said the vendor.
According to a county traffic division official, the monitoring is routine assessment and review work conducted by the county every two to five years.
The county contracts the work to an outside vendor. In the past the vendor used human monitors, people sitting at intersections, to record the data. This time it contracted with Miovision.
Such data, according to Miovision, is often used for determining the need for new traffic signage, new signal placement and retiming of in-use traffic lights.
Initially the Suffolk County traffic safety department told Patch the device was not installed by the traffic department. The department later determined the vendor has changed its data collection approach to use the device.
This story was updated to reflect clarification of the traffic monitoring effort following more information from county officials and the vendor Miovision.