ASK A TROOPER: Cameras at stoplights don’t track speeders, light-runnersSend your question: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous.
Q: My family and I have been having a disagreement regarding the video cameras at some of the stop lights in and around Duluth. My family says they are for speeders and people who run red lights. I say they are strategically placed around banks and schools in case there is a robbery or child abduction. Who’s right?
A: I believe you would be the winner in this one. They are not for speeders or red light runners. I spoke with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Duluth Police Department. The city has many cameras in areas such as Canal Park and the Lakewalk for police and safety purposes. These, of course, can be viewed and could be used as evidence if necessary. None of these are meant to operate in as much of a “big brother” mode as you might think.
MnDOT cameras are mainly on highways to monitor traffic, crashes, road conditions, traffic flow and incidents. There are some devices that look like cameras that are not cameras. Some of those are actually EVP’s (Emergency Vehicle Pre-emptive Devices), which are receivers/transmitters interacting with opti-com devices on emergency vehicles. These change the light to green during emergency runs, and you may see a white light that may or may not be flashing, which notifies that the signal is being interrupted with the device.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.