LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- A new mobile app is making it a lot easier for drivers in the metro area to learn about highway shutdowns or other traffic tie-ups.
The Kansas City Scout app gives commuters a live look at more than 300 cameras in the metro area's traffic network.
These are the same cameras we show you in our FOX 4 traffic reports. Now any traveler can see them in the palm of their hands.
It may sound dangerous to have a traffic app on your phone while you are behind the wheel. That's not how Kansas City Scout wants you to use it. You should check the road conditions before you begin your trip. The app provides real-time average speeds in a color-coded map, incident reports with details about traffic tieups and alerts about any short-term road work underway.
"If a road is closed you'd know that before you even leave," said Jason Sims, traffic center manager for Kansas City Scout. "If there's a major congestion or a big accident you would know that before you even go. It will help you determine the best or most efficient way to travel in Kansas City."
Looking at live images from more than 300 cameras in the KC Scout traffic network has been the most popular feature of the app so far, according to Sims. Travelers like to know what's going on in front of them. Accessing the cameras does use data on your phone's data plan, so you may need to manage that usage.
A soft launch of the app last September allowed programmers time to work out any bugs. Now that it's being actively promoted by Kansas City Scout, there's already been more than 5,000 downloads of the free app. To learn more about how to get it, go to: www.kcscout.net.