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Installation of traffic lights to assist emergency responders

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton The single light in between the two traffic signals is part of an emergency response system that will safely turn the intersection all red when an emergency vehicle approaches the intersection.

The extra light and gray box on each of the traffic signals installed as part of the U.S. 62 rehabilitation project definitely serve a purpose.

A very important purpose in time of emergency.

“The two intersections have an acoustic based preemption system for emergency responder vehicles,” said Edward Orzehowski, PennDOT District 1 assistant traffic engineer. “The system detects the siren from an emergency responder vehicle and determines what direction it is coming from.”

Orzehowski said each of the intersections, especially the intersections with Follett Run Road and Jackson Run Road, have an eight inch “which confirmation light between the vehicular signal heads.

“When a siren is detected the appropriate confirmation light begins to flash confirming to the emergency responder they have been detected and alerts motorists that an emergency responder is coming.”

That then sets in motion the process of making the light turn red in all directions.

“It is important to note that the light will not immediately turn green when an emergency responder is detected,” he explained. “The lights that are currently green must be safely changed to red by the predetermined clearance times set in the signal controller.

“If a pedestrian button was pushed it must also go through the appropriate clearance times before the approach with the emergency responder can turn green. When the emergency responder has the green light all other approaches are red/stopped.”

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