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Intelligent Transportation Systems: A Traffic Incident Management Tool

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 68 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2001 Pages: 12,15
David J. Mulholland
Charles E. Higginbotham
Date Published
March 2001
2 pages
This article offers a description of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the programs shaping the future of traffic incident management.
Today there are several Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies now in use or being tested to enhance traffic incident identification, response, and management. In 1991 with the Nation’s surface transportation infrastructure burdened by growing road congestion and needed revitalization, Congress called for the development of ITS. ITS relies on multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary cooperation to address issues in reducing congestion, enhancing incident response by transportation and public safety responders, and promoting the safety of the ground-based traveler. ITS uses technology to improve the transportation infrastructure (intelligent infrastructure) and improve vehicle safety (intelligent vehicles). Successful intelligent infrastructure initiatives contribute to significant reductions in both crashes and traffic congestion. Vehicle technologies, such as Mayday are becoming more prevalent. These systems enable vehicle operators to have direct verbal communication with private call centers for directions, mechanical assistance, or crash notification. The article states several emerging ITS technologies such as, location data from cellular phones and the digital exchange of information between computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems of public safety responders and traffic management centers.