Beating Traffic Lights

By  | 

Infrared devices used in emergency vehicles to control traffic lights were seen this week on e-Bay, but the online auction service says they're now banned, and an e-Bay user has been suspended for selling one.

Ohio Senator Mike DeWine has introduced a measure outlawing use by individuals of the products, which allow fire trucks, ambulances and police cars to change red lights to green.

New transmitters are being made for around $300. Traffic and safety engineers say putting them in the hands of individuals is a recipe for automotive disaster.

The Minnesota company that makes the inexpensive device insists it has strict safeguards against them falling into unauthorized hands. Larger companies make such remotes with encryption, locking out signals from other devices. But they're many times more expensive than the new models.