Traffic lights

Resident investigates the issue of traffic signals and how they work

What makes traffic light signals change?

Traffic signals are intelligent transportation systems (ITS) designed to allow vehicles to safely cross paths while maintaining an efficient flow of traffic. To do this, traffic signals react to the presence of the vehicles and pedestrians they are guiding.

Although you probably don’t notice it, each mode of transportation interacts with traffic signals in a unique way.

Ministry of Transportation intersection traffic signals are actuated, which means a vehicle sends a call-out for its light to turn green when it drives over a loop in the road.

There are various vehicle detection systems out there. The ministry uses a wire embedded into the pavement and connected to the traffic signal controller.

When a vehicle drives over the loop, the traffic controller detector senses the change in electromagnetic field caused by the introduction of metal (from the vehicle) over the loop. This starts a countdown for the light to turn green.

Most traffic lights on major highways use a combination of actuated and fixed traffic signals.

This means the traffic signals facing highway traffic will rest (or, remain fixed) on green until the side street signals are activated by a vehicle over the loop. This helps keep highway traffic flowing.

This came from the Ministry of Transportation online.

Could this be the very solution to the problem at Stickle Road?

Gary Restorick

Vernon