The New Jersey Assembly unanimously approved a measure Dec.
13 that would outlaw the use of devices that can change some traffic signals
from red to green.
A 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 as low as a
couple of hundred dollars, according to published reports.
People can even buy kits and build the signal changers
Assembly lawmakers voted 78-0 to send the bill to the Senate
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Middlesex, the
bill – 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 fine.
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.