New Traffic Light Tested – Won’t Turn Green if You Speed
We can't prove this by any biological standards but based on actions that we have seen with our own eyes many Louisiana drivers are born with a right foot that is apparently heavier than their left foot, at least when they're driving. That's our cute way of saying, Louisiana motorists seem to have a fascination with driving above the posted speed.
In the past drivers in many Louisiana towns, Lafayette, Louisiana was one of them, employed the use of "speed cameras" and "red light cameras" to encourage drivers to maintain the posted speed and not run red lights. Most people saw that experiment for what it was "revenue-enhanced law enforcement" and a lot of communities simply did away with those devices.
Now there is word of a different approach to helping those with a heavy right foot find a proper balance behind the wheel. It's a traffic light that knows if you're speeding or not. Now, you've probably seen those signs that show the posted speed and have a digital display of what "your speed" is. Some people use that information to slow down, while others simply say "challenge accepted" and go for "high score".
This new traffic light doesn't play. Here's how it works. The light stays red until it senses an approaching vehicle. If that vehicle is traveling at the posted speed or below, it will turn green allowing the motorist to pass through without slowing down.
Now, if the motorist is traveling above the posted speed, the light won't change. It will stay red forcing the motorist to come to a complete stop. The system is currently being tested in Brossard. No, not Broussard, Louisiana it's Brossard Quebec Canada. The system is called feu de ralentissement éducatif (educational traffic-calming light) and it goes by the acronym, FRED.
And so far the experiment appears to be working. In the city of Brossard, a suburb of Montreal, traffic speeds around the FRED-controlled light have dropped by nearly six miles an hour. Here's a video of FRED in action.
Now in addition to slowing down the leadfoots, the FRED system can also relay data to traffic flow specialists. The data collected gives municipalities more information about driver habits and behaviors while on the road.
And should you decide you want to run through the FRED light and not stop or slow down, the system will also take a picture of your vehicle and your license plate and that information will be forwarded to authorities as well.
And when you consider that in nearly 25% of traffic fatalities speed is listed as the determining factor in those fatal crashes, anything that gets drivers to at least think of slowing down is probably not a bad idea.
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