Senate unanimously approved a bill that would outlaw a device that can
change some traffic signals from red to green.
changer is designed to allow police, fire and other emergency officials
to clear intersections before they approach. But some impatient drivers
have managed to purchase them on the Internet for as low as $100, according
to published reports.
can even buy kits and build the signal changers themselves.
voted 48-0 Jan. 26 to advance the measure intended to deter anyone other
than public safety and transit agencies from using mobile infrared transmitters,
or MIRT. It now heads to the House for consideration.
sponsored by Sen. Thomas Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, a person caught buying, selling
or using the device could be fined $10,000.
which sit on a vehicle’s dash, are not regulated by current federal standards
because they rely on a beam of light instead of a radio wave to trigger
the light-changing mechanisms that have been attached to some intersections.
U.S. Department of Transportation survey showed the devices are in use
at 26,500 intersections in 78 cities across the country.
Mike DeWine, R-OH, recently introduced a bill in Congress prohibiting the
sale or possession of the signal changers. His bill reportedly would make
the sale of the transmitter to unauthorized users illegal with a fine up
to $10,000 and possible jail time.
proposals have also been introduced in about a dozen state legislatures
around the country.