Lakeland red-light cameras can predict light-runner, extend light change to prevent crashes

The city of Lakeland says it is using artificial intelligence to save lives on the road. Monday, the city enabled AI sensors on red-light cameras. Up until now, the units have just been collecting data.

If a potential red-light runner is coming into an intersection too quickly and probably will not have time to stop, the sensor makes a split-second decision to extend the other red lights, up to four seconds. But that doesn't mean a potential red-light runner gets away with it.

"This is about safety, purely preventing a crash," Angelo Rao, the city’s manager of traffic operations and parking services, told FOX 13.

"It saves lives," agreed Lakeland city spokesperson Kevin Cook. "The person who is running the red light, to begin with, gets a ticket, so it doesn’t reward bad behavior. However, it does reward the person who may have been T-boned."

Rao says Lakeland is the first place in the state and one of the first in the country to use the system.

The technology is being used at the following intersections:

  • Memorial Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
  • Memorial Blvd. and Massachusetts Ave.
  • Bartow Road and North Crystal Lake Drive
  • South Florida Ave. and Beacon Rd.