June 1


Unusual Things Captured on Traffic Video

By Mike Spack

June 1, 2016

Data Collection, intersection video, traffic video, video

Guest Post by Max Moreland, PE, Director of Operations at Traffic Data Inc.

Over the years, we have captured and viewed thousands of days of intersection video for data collection.  Typically, these intersection videos are pretty uneventful; just people passing through an intersection in one form or another. Every once in a while, however, our video cameras capture something.

Here are just a few of the interesting things we’ve seen:

  • A Little Tipsy. A semi-truck making a left turn at an intersection didn’t quite make it and tipped over onto its side. This caused one a lane closure for several hours until equipment to tip it back was brought out.
  • Fly Away. There was one instance where a bird flew right into the camera. Our staff happened to be watching that video at four or five times speed, so that bird appeared to fly into the camera at a high rate of speed which made the staff jump. The video below was captured on a traffic camera in Canada. [youtube id=”h3v-oZpU3iU”]
  • Caught Red Handed. A COUNTcam at a neighborhood intersection caught sight of a burglar entering a yard with police cars not too far behind him. We sent a clip of this video to the police department for use in their litigation.
  • Hit the Road Jack. At one intersection in South Minneapolis, a car pulled over onto the shoulder right in front of the COUNTcam. Two people got out of the car and appeared to be yelling at each other. The driver opened the trunk of the car, threw a bunch of stuff onto the sidewalk and then drove away leaving the other person to pick up their belongings and walk off with them.
  • Traffic Signals Optional. With our COUNTcloud service, we now receive intersection videos from around the world. So far, the traffic we have seen in Saudi Arabia has been the wildest.
  • No Reservations. One pedestrian we saw didn’t seem to care for the location of the patio furniture of a restaurant. As he walked by the patio seating along the sidewalk he picked up one of the chairs and threw it further down the sidewalk.
  • Déjà vu. I’ve seen myself walk through an intersection when I happened to be in downtown Minneapolis one evening while we had some cameras out.

And of course in addition to those there are always plenty of vehicles getting pulled over, plenty of bad drivers, and the occasional spider that finds refuge on the camera lens.

What interesting things have you caught on video? Let us know if you’ve seen anything noteworthy with your traffic videos.

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Mike Spack

My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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