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Midlothian installs traffic cameras

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Privacy concerns cited
JOEY DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press

MIDLOTHIAN - Cameras have been mounted on top of various intersections in Midlothian, but according to a fire department official, they would not be able to transmit video until later.

'They [cameras] were installed by the [Texas Department of Transportation] contractor when the signal lights were installed,' said Midlothian Fire Chief David Schrodt, who also noted a separate device enabled the lights to stop allowing emergency vehicles through.

'TxDOT informed me that they were a ‘video backup for the loop detectors' used to monitor traffic flow for changing the signals.

'Their spokesman also stated that sometime in the future they could be used to transmit a picture of the intersection to selected lo-

cations.'

When the cameras are equipped with the video transmitting feature, Schrodt said it would work in a way the morning TV traffic reports run.

Traffic cameras have been fought by civil liberties groups because they claim the devices would intrude on their privacy while in their cars.

Local government officials say the cameras would promote safety and allow police to monitor red-light runners.

Midlothian, in western Ellis County, currently has cameras installed at the intersections of Walter Stephenson Road and South Ninth Street, and the new Midlothian Parkway/Highway 287 intersection.

Currently, Midlothian is believed to be the only Ellis County town with traffic cameras at intersections.

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