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Why all the cameras around Wichita?

June 24, 2011|By Michael Schwanke | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — Viewers are asking FactFinder 12 why they’re seeing cameras go up around the city.

“Who's watching it? Who has access to it? Who's paying for it?” asks Jeffery Wells.

The cameras are part of a new KDOT traffic safety program.

Sedgwick County dispatch monitors six “test” cameras right now on busy Wichita highways.

Dispatch only watches the video.  Nothing is recorded.

“KDOT has made it clear they don't want it recorded or want us zooming in on tag numbers. Were just watching the traffic flow for road hazards or roll overs,” says Randy Bargdill, Director of Sedgwick County Dispatch.

The state is only in “phase one” right now which includes 28 cameras and 15 message boards to be stationed around the city.

The project cost about $2.5 million and paid for through federal and state highway funds, plus money from the city and county according to KDOT.

The idea of the program is traffic safety.  KDOT says the message boards will warn drivers of dangers or slow moving traffic ahead.  Cameras will be armed with motion sensors that alert dispatch to slowing traffic.

The cameras will not be used for traffic enforcement. 

Viewers asked FactFinder 12 if the police would use the cameras for speeding enforcement.  KDOT says “absolutely not.”


The first phase should be on-line sometime this fall.

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