A New Jersey Assembly panel has approved a measure that
would outlaw the use of a device that can change some traffic signals from red
A traffic-light changer is designed to allow police,
firefighters and other emergency officials to clear intersections before they
approach. But some drivers have managed to purchase them on the Internet for as
low as $100, according to published reports.
People can even buy kits and build the signal changers
The Assembly Transportation Committee voted unanimously to
advance the bill to the full Assembly for consideration.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Middlesex, A649
is intended to deter anyone other than public safety and transit agencies from
using so-called mobile infrared transmitters, or MIRTs.
Under the proposal, a person caught with the device would be
subject to a fine up to $5,000.
The 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.
A recent U.S. Department of Transportation survey showed the
devices are in use at 26,500 intersections in 78 cities across the country.