Red light? Not anymore!
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Thread: Red light? Not anymore!

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Red light? Not anymore!

    Interesting. I'd be curious as to how this works. (eBay has some booklets on how to enable this) The fine is minimal, although I wonder what the safety risk would have been to change a light from red to green for cross-traffic.


    From CNN

    No green light for driver with traffic signal gadget
    'That thing paid for itself'

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006; Posted: 9:01 a.m. EDT (13:01 GMT)

    LONGMONT, Colorado (AP) -- A man who said he bought a device that allowed him to change stop lights from red to green received a $50 ticket for suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal.

    Jason Niccum of Longmont, Colorado, said the device, which he bought on eBay for $100, helped him cut his time driving to work.

    "I guess in the two years I had it, that thing paid for itself," he told the Daily Times-Call on Wednesday.

    Niccum was issued a citation March 29 after police said they found him using a strobe-like device to change traffic signals. Police confiscated the device.

    "I'm always running late," police quoted Niccum as saying in an incident report.

    The device, called an Opticon, is similar to what firefighters use to change lights when they respond to emergencies. It emits an infrared pulse that receivers on the traffic lights pick up.

    Niccum was cited after city traffic engineers who noticed repeated traffic light disruptions at certain intersections spotted a white Ford pickup passing by whenever the patterns were disrupted.

    City traffic engineer Joe Olson said engineers plan to update the city's Opticon system this year to block unauthorized light-changing signals.
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  2. #2
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    I'm surprised this hasn't been done more often...it's common knowledge that firetrucks, ambulances, police cruisers, etc...have been doing this for years...it was designed for their use to trigger light changes.

    Eg

  3. #3
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    Why do I think this is a bad idea on this guy's part?

    Recently I've talked with a traffic light repairman and he showed me the inside of a traffic light box and explained how it worked. In this particular case there was not infrared signals but standard wiring leading to the light. They didn't install the Opticon bulb, as it were, so this isn't possible where I live.
    I wonder if this Opticon setup is ONLY for emergency vehicles and not used to drive the lights themselves, because heavy rain or fog might affect the visual acuity of the infrared.

    Still I think this is stupid on his part, because people get used to the timing on a light change sequence and here he comes barrelling down the road changing lights when people are conditioned to them to stay Green.

    Dumb!
    ZT3000
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  4. #4
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    Hi ZT3000,

    It was designed specifically for emergency vehicles...at one time it was triggered by a certain noise ( beep ) too...I don't know if that is still functioning...but at signals they would slow down and if you notice the siren would change to a bleep bleep to trigger the change...they still do that but it may just be to warn traffic now.

    Eg

  5. #5
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    Here in Halifax, they are trialing this feature with the city's transit buses, allready caused one huge pileup at the Bridge, also one lady lost her life when a Firetruck tried to change the lights but failed to initiate the change at a bad intersection (on a crest). So it's still under review....people should take their MP3 players out of their ears and stop talking on cell phones while driving as well as turning down their radios/cd players and maybe they would be able to hear the Sirens...oh and proceed with caution when approaching traffic lights....(sigh)

    It's a wonder that guy wasn't involved in some accidents or at the least responsible for some..
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  6. #6
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    Having been caught short by lights and emergency vehicles, I believe the traffic signal cotroller cycles the light through a standard yellow period before the yielding vehicles get the red and the emergency vehicle gets the green.
    ddddc

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    people should take their MP3 players out of their ears and stop talking on cell phones while driving as well as turning down their radios/cd players and maybe they would be able to hear the Sirens...oh and proceed with caution when approaching traffic lights..
    Good idea, but have you been in a newer vehicle and you can hardly hear sirens until they are almost on you. I do agree that people should pay alot more attention when driving.

  8. #8
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    people should take their MP3 players out of their ears and stop talking on cell phones while driving....
    Are you kidding?
    That would take legions of expert surgeons and raise all our insurance premiums when we put them under the knife to surgically remove those seemingly glued-on cell phones from the sides of their heads. (so they can finally drive like humans.)

    Sorry...it's fast becoming my 2nd pet peeve.


    My first pet peeve is people who take no effort and have no desire to learn anything, yet require those around them to be perfect or to think for them.

    Arggghhhh.....
    ZT3000
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  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    yet require those around them to be perfect or to think for them.
    Fortunately, this is not difficult.......................?


  10. #10
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by devpon
    Good idea, but have you been in a newer vehicle and you can hardly hear sirens until they are almost on you. I do agree that people should pay alot more attention when driving.

    Your right the newer cars do block out a lot of the noise, I had forgotten, the car before my current one still had the carburator, I still have the habit of pressing on the accelorator before turning on the ignition...oh well new fangled things eh!
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