Unlocking South Florida’s traffic gridlock

(WSVN) - There is no denying South Florida traffic is a nightmare. And if there’s an accident… forget it. But as 7’s Brandon Beyer tells us, the Florida Highway Patrol has a new tool to help unlock gridlock. And it’s a story you will see on Just One Station.

Even a minor fender bender can bring South Florida traffic to a screeching halt, leaving drivers frustrated, irritated and late!

And if that isn’t bad enough, here are some startling facts.

Floridians spend an average of 52 hours a year sitting in traffic, costing us more than $1,100 in wasted gas and time.

Sgt. John Baker, Florida Highway Patrol: “With the old equipment, it took us at least three to four people.”

When FHP gets to the scene of an accident, patrol officers have to take pictures and measurements.

It could be hours before the road is cleared for traffic.

But no more.

Sgt. John Baker: “I did this entire car, and it took me 10 seconds.”

FHP has a new tool called the Leica Total Robotic Station. It creates a 3-dimensional image of a crash.

Sgt. John Baker: “He’ll be programming the information into the actual computer, giving certain information that we would have to, regularly in the old way, write it down.”

The trooper moves the device around the scene and the computer creates the image…

Sgt. John Baker: “We can watch our scene being made as we go along the different parts of the crash scene.”

And instead of needing one officer to take pictures and another to take measurements, this device does it all.

Sgt. John Baker: “One person can run this bandwagon by themself, and be able to clear a scene a lot quicker and it has cut the time in half, or a little bit more than half.”

Each Leica System costs more than $24,000, but because of all the time that’s saved, troopers say it’s worth the price.

The state has purchased 18 devices for use on Florida roadways. One is assigned to Miami-Dade and one is assigned for use here in Broward County.

Sgt. John Baker: “We would like Monroe to have one of their own so that they could get their roadways cleared a lot quicker.”

FHP started using the imaging device in August and so far, it has been used in eight accidents in our area.

FHP hopes to get several more soon to help put a major dent in our traffic gridlock.

Sgt. John Baker: “We just need the backing from the state to actually allow us to have this newer technology.”

With the goal to unlock gridlock in South Florida.

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