In an effort to better support and inform residents planning to travel on the highway, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways have installed almost 50 cameras along highways in the province.
One of the most recent cameras to reach the roadways is located at the Saskatchewan Landing on highway #4 and can be accessed on Saskatchewan’s Highway Hotline.
Steve Shaheen, the senior communications consultant for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways elaborated on how the cameras function.
“There are six new cameras that were recently added, bringing the total to 47 cameras province-wide and they provide still images that refresh every 30 seconds or so,” he stated. “Really what it does, is it provides a snapshot and time, cameras supplement the highway road conditions with pictures, although they're not perfect. Some conditions are not always visible on the camera, like black ice.”
While the cameras are a fantastic tool for citizens to stay informed about road conditions, the cameras are also extremely beneficial to highway crews working in nearby areas.
“It provides a snapshot for citizens but also helps our crews,” he elaborated. “They provide a sneak peek of an area, so crews don't physically have to drive to that location. The cameras are helpful to crews in areas that sometimes they feel are challenging, so there is definitely a cause benefit.”
Shaheen added that the images are another resource to use while preparing to head out on the highway but still recommends that individuals take advantage of all the information available to them.
“There are some limitations that we need to keep in mind,” he stated. “As mentioned, ice, especially black ice, is not readily apparent and this is one of the most hazardous conditions that people would face. The picture is sometimes obscured during storms and ice and fog, and those types of things, particularly where there's less light and in some of the non-urban areas.
“To get an accurate picture of the road conditions, we really tell citizens it's best to rely on the information provided through the hotline. Simply, when they're on the app for example, just press and hold and it'll bring up additional details for that segment of highway.”
See the cameras on the Highway Hotline here.