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Man ticketed for interfering with traffic signals

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Police issue $50 fine for using device to change lights from red to green

The Associated Press
Updated: 5:39 a.m. ET April 18, 2006

LONGMONT, Colo. - A man who said he bought a device that let him change traffic lights from red to green received a $50 ticket for suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal.

Jason Niccum of Longmont said the device, which he bought on eBay for $100, helped him cut his time driving to work.

“I guess in the two years I had it, that thing paid for itself,” he told the Daily Times-Call on Wednesday.

Niccum was issued a citation March 29 after police said they found him using a strobe-like device to change traffic signals. Police confiscated the device.

“I’m always running late,” police quoted Niccum as saying in an incident report.

The device, called an Opticon, is similar to what firefighters use to change lights when they respond to emergencies. It emits an infrared pulse that receivers on the traffic lights pick up.

Niccum was cited after city traffic engineers who noticed repeated traffic light disruptions at certain intersections spotted a white Ford pickup passing by whenever the patterns were disrupted.

City traffic engineer Joe Olson said engineers plan to update the city’s Opticon system this year to block unauthorized light-changing signals.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
 
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randyval

TRIBE Member
i thought the punnishment would have been more severe.
$50 for 3 years of no red lights = good deal, i want one:D
 

patri©k

TRIBE Member
heard this on AM640 a couple days ago....

I would've guessed a much bigger punishment also, $50 hardly seems appropriate.

I wonder if the lights changed immediately or if it went to amber first!? Cuz if they changed immediately, that could've fucked up some people! LOL.
 

Thumpr

TRIBE Member
i wonder how many intersections lights are actually timed for traffic flow until a clown like this or a fire truck responding to another bullshit alarm comes along and knocks them out of sync?
 
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octo

TRIBE Member
patri©k said:
heard this on AM640 a couple days ago....

I would've guessed a much bigger punishment also, $50 hardly seems appropriate.

I wonder if the lights changed immediately or if it went to amber first!? Cuz if they changed immediately, that could've fucked up some people! LOL.

lights always change from red to green "immediately", then from green they change to amber, then red.
 

Syntax Error

Well-Known TRIBEr
in the other direction they would have to go to amber first before going to red. if the lights are green in one direction then they need to be red in the other. don't try and be smart by pointing out the obvious.
 
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randyval

TRIBE Member
there is instructions on how to build one somewhere on the web, i think there was a thread about it.
yoiu can build it with stuff you can buy at radio shack
 

Bean

TRIBE Member
somewhat related:

Ontario green lights transit signal program
TERRY WEBER

Globe and Mail Update

The Ontario government has given the green light to a new program that would let public transit vehicles manipulate traffic signals at intersections to their advantage, in a move aimed at cutting congestion and convincing more people to take the bus or streetcar.

The system — to be available to transit systems across the province — involves the use of traffic-signal preemption technology, which lets buses and streetcars change the length of signals at traffic intersections so they spend less time waiting and more time in motion.

The technology uses sensors place on the pavement about 100 metres in front of an intersection.

Then, as a transit vehicle approaches, the sensors respond to a transmitter on the vehicle to either shorten a red light or lengthen a green depending on the signal being displayed as the bus or streetcar approaches.

Funding for the project is part of the $1.2-billion allocated by the province in last month's budget for public transit and municipal roads and bridges.

“This technology gets riders to their destination more quickly,” Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar said in Wednesday's announcement.

Under an amendment to provincial traffic regulations in 2005, public transit vehicles and traffic signal maintenance trucks are allowed to use the technology. Before that, only emergency vehicles could use the technology.

Pre-emptive priority systems are already in use on some Toronto Transit Commission and York Region routes. Ottawa and other municipal transit authorities are also investigating using the technology.

However, in Wednesday's announcement, the province also warned that police will be keeping a sharp eye out for drivers looking to misuse the technology. Offenders who use the technology on other vehicles can be fined as much as $1,000.

Wednesday's announcement brought praise from transportation agencies.

“This announcement is good news for transit riders as it can help to cut down on commuting time,” Canadian Urban Transit Association president Michael Roschlau said in a statement.

“This makes better use of our road space and promotes transit as a faster alternative to the car.”

The announcement also coincided with the release of a Statistics Canada report Wednesday which showed that the number of riders on Canada's 10 big transit systems rose 1.8 per cent in February compared with the same month a year earlier.

About 110.1 million passenger trips were taken on these transit systems that month, the agency said. Those systems represent about 80 per cent of total urban transit in Canada.

The trips generated $173-million in revenue — excluding subsidies — up 5.5 per cent from a year earlier.
 

TrIbAlNuT

TRIBE Member
50 bucks is nothing... hang him!!

What I find funny are the ambulances the come screaming down university AVE with lights and sirens causing cars to swerve and pedestrians to run. They pull into one of the ERs and the paramedics end up waiting 3 hrs in the hallway for the hospital to accept the patient.
 

dvs

TRIBE Promoter
Thumpr said:
i wonder how many intersections lights are actually timed for traffic flow until a clown like this or a fire truck responding to another bullshit alarm comes along and knocks them out of sync?

fyi.. our traffic signals don't have these devices on 'em and that 'bullshit' call those firefighters might be attending to just might be for you or someone you know.. tsk tsk.

d
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
I wonder if the fine was so small because the citation was only for "suspicion" of interfering with a traffic signal. The article mentions that city engineers noticed his vehicle was in the area during signal dispruptions, but I'm guessing he was not caught red-handed (hence the "suspicion" charge because it's pretty damned obvious he was up to something).

I'm also guessing the city or state does not have a law making it illegal to possess such a device.
 
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JAR

TRIBE Member
dvs said:
fyi.. our traffic signals don't have these devices on 'em and that 'bullshit' call those firefighters might be attending to just might be for you or someone you know.. tsk tsk.

d

I was so waiting for that.
 
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