Iowa DOT rolls out new snow plow cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa DOT rolls out new snow plow cameras

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The Iowa DOT is rolling out more than 600 new snow plow cameras to give drivers a more accurate and reliable look at winter road conditions.

Previously, the Iowa DOT had iPhones that were mounted onto the inside of snow plow trucks. Drivers could go to the DOT's Track a Plow online feature and not only track where the plow trucks were, but also see what it looked like out on the roads. However, Iowa Dot's Field Services Coordinator Pete Hjelmstad explains the iPhones weren't always reliable. 

"It wasn't the best as far as reliability," said Hjelmstad. "You can imagine some of the remote places in the state, you don't always get the best cell reception. So we have switched to an IP based cameras which uses a GPS system. And these cameras will be more reliable, and these cameras will be sending pictures back through the GPS system."

The DOT has increased the number of cameras on their trucks to more than 600, which means there's a camera on two-thirds of their fleet. 

As long as the truck is moving-pictures will be updated on the website every five minutes. 

"The reason we do this is we want to get information out to the traveling public as much as possible so they can make a good decision on whether or not they should even be on the roads," said Hjelmstad. "Or if they do have to travel, you know give yourself extra time. Know it's going to be slow going. Check these things out before you head out on the road."

Visit the DOT'S website to Track-A-Plow.

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