Police hope camera makes busy intersection safer

The Paducah Police Department is using a new camera to help improve your safety in a heavily traveled intersection.

The police department placed its NetVision 360 camera system off of Hinkleville Road to get real-time video of drivers at the left turn on James Sanders Boulevard next to Panera Bread.

Officer Brian Kopischke says the biggest problem is cars turning left when the light is red, which takes away green light time from traffic coming eastbound.

“So, if you take 5 seconds away from them, it starts compounding and building it up all the way back, and that’s why it keeps backing up. And when traffic starts backing up, people start trying to get closer and closer. And then you have rear ends,” Kopischke said.

Driver Mary Burden is glad to see something being done about the intersection’s congestion.

“I think it’s the worst one in Paducah, because of all this traffic,” Burden said.

The camera isn’t like a red light ticket camera that snaps a picture if you run a red light. In this case, an actual officer has to be watching you to conduct a traffic stop based on the video from the camera.

“In the past, we would have to devote an officer to sit somewhere, and watch the light and radio over what they saw,” Kopischke said.

Kopischke is hoping the camera will remind people to pay attention to the road.

"When the light turns yellow, it means slow down get ready to stop, not speed up and let’s see if I can make it through this light,” Kopischke said.

A grant completely covered the cost of this camera. The only thing the department pays for is gasoline when the solar panels aren’t enough to run it.

Kopischke says it should be up for at least for another week or so, because they still want to collect more data. It’s been up since the middle of last month.

After it comes down, their criminal analyst will look at the data to determine how many wrecks happened and what solutions are possible.

Burden says that should help, because that intersection is just going to get busier with more business in the area.

“More congested and more wrecks. So, you need that data to try and plan something,” Burden said.

The camera can also be used for security. Paducah police used it for surveillance during AQS QuiltWeek and will use during Barbecue on the River this month.

The camera also caught a wreck involving a car and a firetruck that happened Wednesday. To view that, click here

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