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Today is May 30, 2020

Safe travels

By Sandra M. Buckley

Safe travels

TMC operators monitor traffic conditions on Mississippi highways.

Holiday travel along Mississippi roadways during November and December is among some of the heaviest documented each year. To prepare motorists with up-to-date traffic information — such as road conditions, road closures, construction zones and live traffic feeds — the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is constantly collecting and making this data available for travelers through its state-of-the-art Traffic Management Center (TMC).

“The purpose of the TMC is to monitor and detect traffic incidents and inform the general public to enhance safety and provide information so they can make informed decisions on how to best reach their destination,” explained Daniel Wilson, TMC manager.

“The TMC is the nerve center of MDOT’s traffic management system through a statewide network of interconnected traffic monitoring devices,” said Wilson, noting that this network includes real-time traffic information from sources such as its 970-plus traffic cameras, emergency responder communications, speed detection layers and other sophisticated technologies.

“Congestion analysis and radar technology help determine the number of vehicles on the road, and temperature sensors can help monitor the potential for ice formation,” Wilson said. “The traffic cameras are our top tools for detecting congestion issues. These cameras are located along the interstates and major highways throughout the state. Areas with heavier device concentration include the Jackson Metro, Hattiesburg, Southaven, the Gulf Coast and along each of the Mississippi River bridges. In these areas, we also have devices such as our Dynamic
Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radios, which further our reach to the traveling public.”

The information gathered by TMC is continuously distributed across MDOT’s multiple channels. With nearly 2 million website views each month, TMC alerts are shared with 47,000 subscribers through the MDOT traffic app, website, mobile push notifications, email alerts and social media.

“An informed traveler is a safe driver,” Wilson added. “If you know to expect delays ahead, you may be able to find an alternate route or at least be prepared to be patient as the delay clears.”

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