Connecticut bill bans traffic-signal changers

| 3/8/2005

An effort in the Connecticut House 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.

The bill – HB5161 – is in the Joint Transportation Committee.

It is intended to deter anyone other than public safety and transit agencies from using so-called mobile infrared transmitters, or MIRTs.

Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Fahrbach, R-Windsor, the bill doesn’t specify a fine amount.

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 light-changing mechanisms have been in use at intersections since the early 1970s.