Howard County in a jam over traffic sensors

December 11, 1996|By Jill Hudson | Jill Hudson,SUN STAFF

More than a year ago, Howard County's Traffic Engineering Division ordered $69,000 worth of sensors to trip traffic signals for county rescue vehicles.

But now, C. Edward Walter, head of the division, says he doesn't have the staffing to install the devices.

The State Highway Administration says the county can't use them on state roads because they differ from a state-approved system used in every other Maryland jurisdiction. The county was supposed to submit a study on the new system in hopes of winning state approval to use it, but the traffic department now says it doesn't have enough employees to pull together that report.

Until the state approves the system, the county cannot use the devices it has purchased on its busiest roads.

County fire and rescue officials are waiting for a system -- any system -- that will allow ambulance and firetruck drivers all over the county to change traffic signals quickly and safely during emergencies. "We're waiting on the people at Traffic and Engineering to put the equipment in," said Howard County Fire and Rescue Chief Raymond Faith.

Pub Date: 12/11/96

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