SAVANNAH, GA ( March 9, 2011) Savannah-Chatham Metro Police are launching a new program in their police cars that provides a temporary right-of-way through intersections in emergency situations.

It’s called the Opticom GPS system. It assist equipped police vehicles through certain intersections by providing a temporary right-of-way through the use of common traffic controller functions. The way it works is simple.  

  • The vehicle GPS unit obtains its position, speed and heading information from GPS satellites, their turn signal status is also monitored.  
  • Then the vehicle’s unit transmits this information and the vehicle’s ID to the intersection.  
  • The Intersection radio receives the information and sends a priority request to the equipment located in the traffic controller cabinet.    
  • The traffic controllers input is programmed to provide a green light for the approaching vehicle and the activity is logged.

The Opticom GPS System is not new to Savannah. It has been used on the Derenne Avenue corridor by emergency personnel for some time. However this is a new program for SCMPD. With a hope of expansion in the future, SCMPD currently has 90 vehicles outfitted with the system. There are 80 intersections around Savannah that are equipped to interact with the system and change when emergency vehicle responding during an emergency situation approach.