Body heat-sensing cameras coming to Monon Trail

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – To help improve bicycle safety the city will instal new infrared cameras along the Monon Trail.

The technology senses a cyclists’ body heat to improve the flow of traffic and keep cyclists from running red lights.

“One of the reasons I don’t ride as often as I’d like to is because the intersections are so dangerous,” said Suzie Keller.

The thermal imaging cameras will be installed over the next two months at the intersection of 75 Street and Westfield Boulevard.

They allow for a green light to stay green longer to allow the cyclist through, or turns a red light green as the cyclist nears.

One of the issues the city has are the magnets at intersections that trigger a light to change. Those magnets don’t pick up bicycles.

Current state law requires bicyclists to stop at all red lights. If the light doesn’t turn green within two minutes the cyclist can go. The law went into effect on July 1.

“I think these would be better because we wouldn’t have to worry about that,” said Kevin Whited, the Executive Director of IndyCOG.

“I could see there being an argument if there was ever a crash: ‘Oh I waited 120 seconds,’ ‘Oh how do you know that?’ And now the thermal imaging or infrared would pick it up immediately, Whited said.

The city says no major incidents have occurred at the intersection where the cameras are being installed. The reason why the cameras are being installed there is because now cyclists have to push a button to change the light, or wait.

The cameras are being installed by the thermal imaging company, FLIR. The company is installing the equipment for free for a 60 day trial.The city says if safety is improved at the intersection, there’s a possibility the program could be expanded.

If the city installs the cameras permanently, they cost $16,000 per intersection. Cities in over 20 states are already using the technology.

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