Opticon light controls don't need the "white" strobe -- they respond to other colors including infrared too as long as the pattern is right...I assume so undercover vehicles can use them
April 17, 2006
LONGMONT, Colo. --A man who said he bought a device that let him change traffic lights from red to green has received a $50 ticket on suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal.
Jason Niccum of Longmont told the Daily Times-Call that the device, which he bought on eBay for $100, helped him cut his time driving to work.
"I guess in the two years I had it, that thing paid for itself," he told the newspaper Wednesday.
Niccum was cited March 29 after police said they found him using a strobe-like device to change traffic signals.
"I'm always running late," police quoted Niccum as saying in an incident report.
The device, called an Opticon, 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.
Niccum was cited after city traffic engineers who noticed repeated traffic-light disruptions on certain intersections spotted a white Ford pickup passing by whenever the light patterns were disrupted.
City traffic engineer Joe Olson said traffic engineers plan to update the city's Opticon system this year to block unauthorized light-changing signals.
They have a similar system in Langford, back home. But as it was described to me, it works off the sound of the siren, which caused lots of problems initially of course. Especially since lights 5 blocks away would change in favour, even the the apparatus was not going anywhere near that area. They apparently had to ture down the sensativity of the receivers.
I have a strobe light that pins onto a life vest that does that.Don't use it much anymore but I found out when I was curious about if it would change the lights.
Here in Memphis,cops will leave their strobe lights on and if they are near an intersection that you are trying to cross,you are SOL.
Was only 50 bucks? I'd say that was pretty lenient!