Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes: Traffic Lights Need A Battery Backup

Whenever the power goes out, like after a storm, sometimes that might also mean the traffic lights go dark as well.  As the law, when a traffic light intersection is dark or out, drivers must treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.  But, many drivers don’t do that, and this creates chaos.  A few years ago, I shot traffic at an intersection where the traffic lights were not working.  Even a couple of police officers, with no flashing lights on, never stopped as well.

So today, the busiest intersection in Anniston, Quintard Ave. (AL-21) at AL-202 / 8th St., had traffic lights not working due to a power outage.  When I got to this intersection, I saw the usual, cars not treating the intersection as a 4-way stop.  Eventually, some police officers did show up to direct traffic.

So this begs the question, why does this intersection, the busiest intersection in Anniston, not have a battery backup?  In cities all over the world, the busiest traffic light intersections have a battery backup at the control box.  When the power goes out, the battery backup kicks in.  And for two hours, the traffic light intersection acts like normal.  If the power is out for more than two hours, the intersection will flash as a 4-way red for up to 14 hours.  And having red flashing lights is more important than having no lights on at all.  Here is how the battery backup works.

I mean, this is something that needs to be done.  I would rather not see someone get into a wreck or see a police officer directing traffic get hurt.  This is common sense!

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