The state of Idaho has issued a nationwide recall of its highway cameras after they began malfunctioning on a record-breaking week, causing people to be stuck in traffic for hours, a new report says.
The State Highway Patrol said on Thursday that more than 10,000 vehicles had been involved in crashes with the cameras, and that more were expected in the next 48 hours.
The Idaho Highway Patrol is in the process of removing and replacing the cameras that were installed on the highway from April 10 through June 7.
“We’ve had a number of crashes where the driver has a camera and then it fails,” Trooper Matt Pendergast told KTVB in Boise, Idaho.
The cameras, installed by a company called NHTSA, are supposed to record the speed of vehicles passing, the height of trees, how much distance the vehicle is from traffic lights, and any other information that would be important for drivers to know when the cameras are activated.
The devices are supposed not to interfere with other traffic or the navigation system.
But the state said on Friday that drivers were stuck in the traffic in Idaho on Friday after their cameras failed.
“The problem that we’re seeing is that the camera has failed at the speed it was designed to operate,” Pendergon said.
“That is a serious problem.”
The troopers’ report, which was released Friday morning, also noted that several cameras in the state were inoperable, including at the Idaho Tollway and at the state’s Highway Patrol headquarters.
“I’ve never seen this many cameras fail, and this many fail so frequently,” Penderingast said.
“When you have the failure rate like that, it’s pretty darn impressive.”
The trooper said the problem likely started when a malfunctioning sensor on one of the cameras caused it to automatically shut off when it failed.
The state has been installing the cameras on state roads since 2015, and they are used to track traffic signals and other data collected by cameras installed on roads.
They also are used in cases where people have died in traffic accidents.