Ready to face the chaos of the storm

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 Employees of the MTQ will have my eyes riveted on the hundreds of traffic cameras across the Montreal area to minimize the impact of the biggest storm of the winter expected today.

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“While the world prepares to facilitate the flow of traffic on the network. It helps limit the chaos “, says Yves Beaudoin, head of department of the Centre integrated traffic management (CIGC) of Transport Quebec.

The control room is located on the rue Viger in Montréal, will become for the next few days the headquarters of the operations department of the ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ) in the Montreal area, so that a large storm is coming.

Fifteen officers will have the task to monitor the approximately 417 cameras turned on to the main roads of the metropolitan area and report incidents.

 A lot of work

In the middle of the surveillance screens, a weather radar shows the precipitation to come.

“It also provides the number of calls that we will receive it,” laughs the team leader Gilles Desroches.

A day of snow storm brings in a load of work is much more important. The additional employees will be called upon to pitch until Thursday to keep a constant eye constant.

“When it is active in the room, it is awesome. There are a lot of exchanges of information between them, but also with other emergency responders “, note still Yves Beaudoin.

“They develop their own language. Most know the numbers for the camera on the territory by heart, ” he continued.

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The information is then passed on to patrol officers, the territorial directorates and to the police authorities, depending on the intervention needs.

“We give the alert for the event to be taken care of as quickly as possible. It is almost in real time “, he adds.

In addition to the cameras, the agents receive calls from the police and road users via the Québec 511.

Their involvement goes beyond the simple reporting of incidents. They suggest alternative paths to reroute motorists and to allow emergency services to intervene more easily.


Some cameras can even be controlled remotely to provide a better point of view while others are equipped with windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid to ensure visibility.

“We can even give an estimate of the number of wounded potential to modulate the response,” notes Frédéric Ducharme, another team leader of the CIGC.

To cope with the blizzard, the MTQ will also nearly 200 plow trucks, over 25 technicians, supervisors and patrollers in addition to count on a score of managers on the road.

► 417 surveillance cameras in the greater Montreal area on the 700 in the entire province of Quebec

► Average length of calls reporting on the line Quebec 511 : 36 seconds

► 120 000 Requests for intervention addressed each year by the CIGC

► 22 000 Calls received to report an incident during the storm of 20 January and the days that followed

 “The vigilance of the employees of the CIGC can sometimes be used to save lives.”

 Frederic Ducharme said that he notified by radio to the supervisor of the road as a car was going to hit him. A car was deviating from its lane on its cameras. Finally, it is the van that takes the shock rather than the speaker.

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