Louisiana House unanimously approved legislation to outlaw a device that can
change some traffic signals from red to green.
traffic-light changer is designed to allow police, fire and other emergency
officials to clear intersections before they approach. But some drivers have
managed to purchase them on the Internet for about $325, The Times-Picayune reported.
sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, passed the House April 16 by
a 104-0 vote. It has been sent to the Senate.
bill is intended to deter anyone other than public safety and transit agencies
from buying, selling or using the so-called mobile infrared transmitters, or
bill stipulates that violators be jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum of
$5,000, or both.
devices, 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.
recent U.S. Department of Transportation survey showed the devices are in use
at 26,500 intersections in 78 cities across the country.
State Police spokesman Lt. William Davis told the newspaper he was unaware of
any serious problems with the devices in Louisiana but said if the devices
became popular and drivers started using them, “it would cause mayhem” with
traffic, increasing accidents, injuries and fatalities.