MDOT monitoring holiday traffic with more than 500 cameras - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MDOT monitoring holiday traffic with more than 500 cameras

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There are ways to save yourself the holiday travel headache and the Mississippi Department of Transportation is trying to help with its information hub.

"This is really the nerve center of the information we try to get out to the public," described Central Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall.

If you think it's stressful to be out on the roads this holiday, think about monitoring the state's 507 traffic cameras for problems.

"We're monitoring them 24/7," said Traffic Management Center operator Daniel Wilson. "So, we have to be on our toes."

The Traffic Management Center in Jackson is where all the MDOT alerts originate. 

"With the click of a button, we send this to 100,000 people statewide," noted Dick Hall.

There are 26 message signs around the state that can be controlled here. If a staff member spots a crash, for example, they verify it and send out alerts and messages to boards on the highways and interstate, if needed.

"It's a big safety issue and a big mobility issue just knowing what is in your intended route," explained TMC director John Gilligan. "That, in and of itself, enhances safety."

The usual holiday traffic is complicated with a rainy forecast.

"There's only so many routes to these shopping areas and only so many routes away from them," Gilligan said. "Because there's so much traffic in that isolated area, we typically see a lot of traffic incidents, fender benders, that type of thing."

"We know there are going to be some problems," added Hall. "We know that. So we're going to do all we can to take that information, gather it and verify it and get it out to the public."

So, minimize your travel stress and check the MDOT website or app before you hit the road. If you aren't too tech savvy, you can dial 511 and get route specific travel info.

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