Watching the Roads with CCTV in N.J. and Penn.

Besides helping smooth traffic, cameras focus on bomb threat situations, suicides, more

Cameras are located on several roads, including I-95, I-76, Route 309 and the Blue Route, I-476. Scores of others monitor roads in the Pittsburgh area.

"We have had people climb up on the Platt Bridge and on the Ben Franklin Bridge to jump off," said Frank Dijoseph, a shift supervisor at PennDot's Traffic Control Center in King of Prussia. "We haven't seen anybody actually jump."

Gene Blaum, a PennDot spokesman, said Expressway Safety Service Patrol tow trucks roam the highways from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays to assist motorists.

Some need more help than others - and last week was especially hectic.

"We had overturned trucks just about every day," Dijoseph said. "On Thursday, a dump truck flipped on the ramp to the Walt Whitman Bridge and showered cars on I-95 with gravel. That was crazy. There were a lot of damaged vehicles."

The technicians alerted police and a Philadelphia County Maintenance Office to bring in front-end loaders and sweeper trucks to clean up the mess, Dijoseph said. They worked for three hours.

"It can get pretty wild sometimes," he said.

(c) 2005 Associated Press