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Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

theodp (442580) writes | more than 4 years ago

2

theodp (442580) writes "Many municipalities have switched to LED traffic signals because they burn brighter, last longer and use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. But they also emit less heat, meaning they sometimes have trouble melting snow, causing problems across the Midwest. In Wisconsin, snow blanketed LED traffic lights in some towns, leading to crashes at intersections where drivers weren't sure whether to stop or go. The unintended consequences of the green technology were also identified as a 'contributing factor' in the death of an Illinois woman hit by a driver who blamed the snow-covered energy-efficient signal for giving the appearance of a normal green light instead of a left-turn signal. 'We can remove the snow with heat, but the cost of doing that in terms of energy use has not brought any enthusiasm from cities and states that buy these signals,' said the CEO of an LED traffic-signal manufacturer. 'They'd like to be able to take away this issue, but they don't want to spend the money and lose the savings.' In the meantime, some towns are addressing sporadic problems by dispatching crews to remove snow or ice from signals using poles, brooms, and heating devices."

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Make it a Hybrid Solution... (1)

zonezero (175540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30591128)

Install heaters that can be controlled by people or with sensors..most of the time you won't need them and will still over all reduce the energy costs...now quit whining and get back to plowing.

Not sure to stop or go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30591712)

If you aren't sure if you should stop or go. STOP. As for confusing a turn left signal for a regular green light, i'm not even sure how that's possible
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