- TJ Melcher
MnDOT District 8
2505 Transportation Road
Willmar, MN 56201
MnDOT adds new lights to traffic signals to improve safety
WILLMAR, Minn. – Motorists may see one or two additional types of lights on traffic signals in ten communities across west central Minnesota.
Traffic signals in Hutchinson, Litchfield, Marshall, Montevideo and Willmar will have a steady blue light that activates when the cross traffic signal turns red.
“The blue lights are a tool for law enforcement to reduce red-light running,” said Traffic Engineer Ryan Barney. “It gives them the ability to see when a vehicle has entered the intersection under a red light.”
Traffic signals in Bird Island, Granite Falls, Montevideo, Olivia, Pipestone and Redwood Falls will have a flashing white light activate when an emergency vehicle nears the intersection.
The flashing lights improve safety for motorists and emergency responders.
“We are using this technology to provide real-time information to prevent death and injury from traffic crashes,” said Barney.
Both types of lights support the region’s Toward Zero Death efforts.
TZD is the state’s cornerstone traffic safety program that is a partnership between the departments of Public Safety, Transportation and Health, the Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Board and other traffic safety partners.
A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.