NC bill would use $1.5M to help record NCDOT’s traffic cameras

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There are new developments to a to a story CBS 17 brought to you Wednesday that involved NCDOT traffic cams which provide real-time feeds of the highways—but are not recorded.

There’s now a plan in the works that might change that, but it will require a big effort.

Video from traffic cameras constantly streams and that’s part of the problem – saving the data is going to require lots and lots of hardware.

On Wednesday, motorist Alan Buck reached out to CBS 17 saying a strange liquid spewing from a construction-type truck driving down Interstate-440 damaged his car.

He wanted to see if the North Carolina Department of Transportation could check its traffic cameras to identify the truck, but NCDOT said it doesn’t record those feeds.

bill filed by Rep. Carolyn Logan (D-Mecklenberg) would change that.

It would authorize $1.5 million in recurring funds to provide a way for the NCDOT to record traffic cams.

Logan is a retired state trooper who says saving recordings from traffic cameras is a safety issue and could help solve crimes or provide other valuable information.

But how do you save that data?

NCDOT says it has 900 traffic cameras around the state that generate hundreds of thousands of hours of data each week.

Chuck Stanley, chief engineer at CBS 17,  said saving all that is no small task once you start adding up the numbers.

“It would take a huge building full of servers to do that,” said Stanley.

He said it is feasible.

“Amazon and YouTube do it, but they are massive corporations.”

There’s no provision in the bill mandating how long that traffic camera data should be stored.

A day? A week? A year? Indefinitely?

Another question, should the state build its own archival system or should it contract with a private company to do that? 

All those are questions that will have to be answered if the bill is passed.

Right now, the bill is in committee and Logan’s office tells CBS 17 she’s hopeful it’ll be sent out to be voted on.

She calls the $1.5 million in funding enough money to get the ball rolling.

As for NCDOT, it says its keeping an eye on the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process

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