By Jim Melwert
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) — After a Montgomery County woman went missing last week, her car found abandoned along Route 422 in King of Prussia, some asked why investigators didn’t turn to highway traffic cameras to help solve the mysterious disappearance.
The woman was later found safe, in Philadelphia.
Lou Belmonte, District Six traffic engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, points out that those highway cameras are run by Penndot to monitor traffic flow.
He says they are not designed nor intended for recording, and they’re not set up to archive video or images.
“The traffic management center goes back to the mid ’90s,” Belmonte tells KYW Newsradio. “And we’ve come a long way. But frankly, we don’t have the server space right now or the internal processes or structure to manage the recording or storage of our video.”
Belmonte says their 350+ cameras statewide are set up generally to help in emergency response, and to pass information along to travelers.
He says they get several requests a week for video, often from lawyers representing cliets in car accidents. He says generally the cameras are about a mile apart and view a half-mile in each direction so, even if they did record, there’s no guarantee an incident would be caught on a camera.