A Kentucky state lawmaker wants to 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.
State Rep. John Vincent, R-Ashland, has drafted a bill
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 using the device could
be fined up to $500. A person involved in an accident resulting in injuries
while using the device could face jail time in addition to a 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.
The devices have been in use at intersections since the
A recent U.S. Department of Transportation survey showed
the devices are in use at 26,500 intersections in 78 cities across the country.