Is there really such a thing as a “go” box? (That is a remote contol device that allows you to change a traffic light from red to green.) First I heard that there wasn’t, then I heard that only police have them.
http://www.lond-amb.sthames.nhs.uk/http.dir/press_releases/press_current/priority_at_lights.html offers he following:
Search Yahoo for “traffic light control” returns many links.
So the answer is Yes, it exists. Does your city use the system, and what system/code is used is a different question.
Heres one that claims to tell you how to make one.
and finaly, here is a picture of the device on the traffic light.
First off, yes it’s real. It’s no magic device that will work everywhere though, because not only do you have to have a device connected to the signal, it needs to be flashing the proper frequency. Those are different for each city, though as one of those links says, many cities just use the standard radio Shack default frequency.
Way back in the 1970’s, the Fire and Rescue service here in town used the 3M strobe system to get priority green. The strobes were mounted on the front of the fire truck or ambulance, and added to the visual “notice” that an emergency vehicle was coming (for some reason the Police didn’t use it). The local transit authority equipped about 10 busses as an experiment to see if it improved running time. The lights on the transit buses (ok, you pick a spelling) had an optical shield on the front so only the infrared was emitted.
For a variety of reasons, the experiment didn’t work. But, as someone said, all that is old is new, the concept is under consideration again.
In Overland Park, KS and it’s outlying townships, simply flashing your brights at the proper speed will change lights. This is, however, illegal. I’m sure that this method would work in millions of other intersections. But don’t try it.
Here in Sydney, Australia, many taxi drivers persist in the belief that flashing the lights to high beam several times will speed up the change to green. I don’t know of any proof for this, and it doesn’t seem to speed things up in any cabs I’ve been in (lights tend to be on timers at busy intersections, and activated by electro-magnets in the road surface at smaller intersections, or during quiet times such as at night). I’m not sure why this practice is confined to cabbies, as nobody else seems to do it. Then again, taxi subculture is too weird for me to fathom!
There is, however, an intersection I know of in the city centre where a left turn lane with an arrow signal has a big sign on it saying, “Buses only. Other vehicles will face long delays”. I guess there must be some sort of radio system in the buses.
If you’ve ever gotten behind a bus, you’ll know why they say that!