Intersection Video Detection

Intersection Video Detection

Smile…You’re On Intersection Cameras

The City of Lewiston Traffic Services Division has installed several video cameras at signalized intersections in the city.  You will find them at 17th St. and 16th Ave. and 16th Ave. and 8th St as well as a few others.  The cameras are part of video detection used to improve traffic operations on area streets. 

What Will These Cameras Do?

The City of Lewiston is using them to replace in-pavement inductive loops for signal control. Today inductive loops help detect where and how many cars sit at a signal so the signal can adjust its timing to best serve the most vehicles. 

Inductive in-pavement loops have reliability problems from failure due to weather, pavement maintenance or utility cuts, giving around five years average service life. They also have trouble detecting vehicles that don’t have the right inductive signature, such as tandem trucks or motorcycles.

Nervous About Privacy?

Some people worry that video detection cameras can identify individuals or objects inside vehicles. However, these cameras are selected for durability and economy, not for high resolution. 

Unlike close-range security cameras, traffic cameras are set high to view the entire intersection and avoid looking into headlights, sunlight or street light reflections off vehicle glass. In short, they are good enough to see where a vehicle is located, but not good enough to see inside a vehicle.


Video detection provides more accurate traffic control at less overall cost. Each camera is set up to view individual lanes and will register when backups occur in each lane of each intersection approach (called zones). Each camera can monitor as many as 24 zones, so only a few are needed even at very large intersections.