Device Turns Red Lights to Green

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. I've got to get one of these things. From todays Washington times:

    Traffic-light changer gets $50 ticket
    LONGMONT -- 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.
    Mr. 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, called an Opticon. It 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.
  2. A quick search of ebay & froogle yielded nothing. Can someone post a link to a merchant offering these devices?
  3. Oh yeah, I remember reading about such devices years ago, in the car magazines. Obviously intended for authorized use by police, fire, ambulance, VIPs, etc. They are called MIRTs, for Mobile Infrared Transmitters. Here's a link (one of many) to a couple of models:

    Basically, it's a fairly low tech strobe light. If you're handy (and like living on the edge), you could apparently make one yourself for under $20 in parts:

    I see that the unathorized use of a MIRT is now a federal crime as well, under the "Safe Intersections Act" (there's a catchy title...), signed into law last year. Presumably because it could come in handy for terrorists... That enterprising commuter guy got off really easy, with that slap on the wrist to the tune of $50.