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YoBob's avatar

Is it possible to find archive footage from traffic cameras (Travis County, Texas)?

Asked by YoBob (12783 points ) August 23rd, 2011

Alright, long story short, I was rear ended. However, due to the stop and go nature of the traffic at the time, after pulling into the lane the car in front stopped so I was stationary with my car at a bit of an angle in the lane.

The woman behind, obviously distracted, pulled forward after a couple of seconds and rear ended me. However, because the damage was on the corner of my bumper rather than in the center her insurance company is claiming I am at fault, and my insurance company is less than optimistic about winning an arbitration.

So… what I really need is video footage. There is a traffic cam located near the intersection where the collision occurred. TXDot claims they don’t keep any archives (which surprises me). But since it is a public feed I suspect that some geek will have an archive. So, how bout it, anyone know of any uber cool TXDot web cam archives out there?

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7 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Are you sure it’s a TXDOT cam? Theirs are generally for gauging traffic from a distance, so it might be tough to pick out you and the other car. Other cameras are for enforcement and might be more likely to have an archive and the level of detail you’re looking for. I still don’t know if they’d help you out but at least you’d know who to ask. Especially downtown there seem to be quite a few public and private cams running.

I was going to mention the toll ways keep a lot of footage on file, but I’ve never seen one backed up like you’re talking about, so that seems unlikely to help.

The news occasionally shows video footage from various areas, maybe a local reporter would share their knowledge as to how to track some down? They might also have other ideas like cams from the weather stations throughout the city or other source I’m not thinking of.

All in all, your insurance company is probably going to settle with the other company anyway and just agree to some sort of split. It’s unfortunate but usually true unless they’re telling you directly otherwise. (at least in my limited experience)

I hope it works out and good luck tracking down some evidence.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t understand why your insurance company isn’t backing you on this one. When you are rear ended it is pretty much always the other driver’s fault. Who is your carrier? And it may be very difficult to find someone who has traffic cam footage stored. Video takes up a lot of storage and I can’t see anyone having any archive of it. So many traffic cams, so few gigabytes. Good luck though. I would press your insurance company and ask them why they can’t or won’t fight a simple rear ending.

YoBob's avatar

@lillycoyote – Yep, I’m pretty torqued at them as well. Especially given the tone of the agent who left a message on my answering machine yesterday. In short, he was pretty blunt about his opinion that my version of events did not represent the facts (which is why I want video).

FWIW, it was during stop and go rush hour traffic, I was on an on ramp and gave a signal to merge. The traffic on the highway began to move forward and the woman in the other vehicle stayed stationary. Of course I thought “how nice, she’s letting me in”, So, I merged into the space. The vehicle in front of me stopped before I was able to completely straighten out in the lane, so I stopped with my vehicle at an angle. A couple of seconds later the woman behind pulled forward and rear ended me. Heck, she even mentioned that she was looking for a piece of gum in her purse!!!!

The bottom line is that the damage to my vehicle was on the left corner of the rear bumper and the damage to her vehicle was on her right front. So… her insurance company’s stance is it couldn’t have been a simple rear end because the damage was not in the center of the bumper. The agent that left the message informed me that an arbiter would almost surely accept the other driver’s version of events over mine (can’t help but wonder what that version of events is).

My insurance is with USAA and I have been with them for 20+ years without an accident in as far back as I can remember (however, I seem to recall a parking lot fender bender a decade or so ago). Needless to say, I am seriously torqued that they don’t seem to be willing to even try to go to bat for me and even more torqued at the lack of tact displayed by the agent who left the message.

lillycoyote's avatar

Travis County, was this on I-35? I used live in Austin, near the the University and those access roads… you have 1 second to merge or die. I swear that section of I-35 through Austin was designed by a serious misanthrope. Still, I’ve never heard of there being a problem because the damage was not exactly in the center of the bumper. If some one hits you from behind, damage to your rear, damage to their front it means the other driver was following too close and/or wasn’t paying attention. I would, and I’m sure you will fight this. Had a thought, though. A lot of cities and businesses have surveillance cameras and might keep the tapes/video longer. Might there be an municipal or business cameras that might have caught the accident? I have also seen people put ads in the local papers looking for witnesses to accidents though I don’t know how much luck they have with that.

And I’d never heard of USAA so I looked it up and I guess it serves military personnel and their families exclusively. From the Wikipedia article is sounds like a pretty straight up organization and apparently is rated consistently high for it’s customer service so maybe you just got a bad apple. Can you ask to be assigned a different agent for your claim maybe? I’m sure you’ll get this straightened out.

YoBob's avatar

Actually, the guy called me back this morning and was quite a bit more polite. He explained that he was not questioning my statement so much as trying to prepare me for what he projects as the likely outcome of arbitration. He also reviewed my statement and made note of the fact that I did indicate that I was not fully straightened out in the lane, which explains the location of the damage.

As for cameras, this was on South bound Mopac just South of 35th street. I suspect that the good folks at Camp Mabry probably have some high resolution footage, but I doubt they would admit to such surveillance of the surrounding area (if it does, in fact, exist) and much less be willing to share it with me. ;) Any clue who to call and ask?

lillycoyote's avatar

Sorry, no connections at Camp Mabry. I suspect you’d have better luck with business than wrestling footage from the National Guard. I really wish you the best of luck, though it sounds like you might be doing a little better with the guy handling your claim now.

And, just reading the word Mopac has made me all nostalgic for my Austin days. The last 4 years I was there I had an apartment on E. 34th St., between Duval and Speedway and right where you had your accident, on W. 35th, is where I used to pick up Mopac to go out to Hamilton Pool or Pedernales Falls or north to pick up 183 because I had a friend who lived out near Lake Travis.

Yuyie's avatar

Yo bob, I’m in same situation. Did you get any pictures

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