South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing legislation to outlaw
devices 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 a couple of hundred dollars.
can even buy kits and build the signal changers themselves.
bill, sponsored by state Rep. Herb Kirsh, D-Clover, is intended to deter anyone
other than public safety and transit agencies from using, selling or buying
so-called mobile infrared transmitters, or MIRTs.
proposal – H3046 – calls for violators to face up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to
one year in prison.
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
device has been in use at intersections since the early 1970s.
recent U.S. Department of Transportation survey showed the devices are in use
at 26,500 intersections in 78 cities across the country.