Major Waterloo intersection home of blue light traffic experimen - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Major Waterloo intersection home of blue light traffic experiment

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The intersection of University Avenue and Ansborough Avenue in Waterloo is one of two in the state that has blue lights with its traffic signals.

The blue lights were installed Friday morning as part of a research project.

Traffic engineers hope the new lights help police determine when a driver runs a red light.

"If people who run the red lights are ticketed more, they'll set an example for themselves and others to be more careful and not run the red lights," said Mohammad Elahi, a traffic engineer for the City of Waterloo.

City officials said the blue lights remain off until the adjacent light turns red.

This means officers can determine when a lane has a red light even if they can't see the signal change because they will be able to see if the blue light is on.

"It's a cultural thing. It's trying to change driver behavior through enforcement, so once those drivers who do run the red light know that they could be seen easier, the idea is that it'll reduce the instance of red light running," said Elahi.

The $70,000 project also includes an intersection experiment in Altoona.

The project is funded by the Iowa Department of Transportation and headed up by researchers at the University of Kansas.

The City of Waterloo said researchers will study how well the blue lights are working during evaluations three months and six months after installation.
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