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Preemptive lights cut down travel time for first responders, everyday drivers

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    Mobile, AL-Pensacola, FL (WALA) — A years-long project in south Baldwin county is cutting down on travel time for first responders and everyday drivers.

Nearly 40 preemptive lights have been installed throughout Foley, Orange Beach, and Gulf Shores, with more to come.

This technology allows first responders to communicate with computers in certain intersections via GPS, to change the signals along their emergency routes to shorten response time.

Gulf Shores, Foley, and Orange Beach have teamed up with Alabama Department of Transportation to install these lights and link their systems together, so each fire department can save seconds when they count most on busy stretches of road, like Highway 59.

“Traffic can get backed up, and then you see an emergency vehicle coming and you’re trying to get out of the way, but can’t get out of the way. This system is designed to allow us and our responders to use their turn signals, their GPS location, tied into this system to help get the traffic flowing ahead of the vehicle before it gets there,” said Gulf Shores Fire Department Deputy Chief Keith Martin.

This system also works to count cars and make traffic signals work more efficiently for everyday drivers, especially on busy roads.

GSFD says two more of these preemptive lights will be installed before summer to help continue to alleviate traffic during the summer months.

One will be installed on County Road 4 in Gulf Shores, and another at the intersection of Coastal Gateway and Foley Beach Express.

Martin says he’s already seen a major decrease in response time within his department since this technology was first installed.

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