An effort in the Tennessee 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.
Sponsored by Rep. Phillip Pinion, D-Union City, the proposal
in Tennessee calls for violators to face up to 30 days in jail and/or a $50
It is intended to deter anyone other than public safety and
transit agencies from using so-called mobile infrared transmitters, or MIRTs.
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.
HB508 is in the House Transportation Committee.