[UPDATE: Honk honk. Happy April Fools' Day!!]
The Ontario Traffic Light Association (OTLA) is pleased to announce that Peterborough has been selected as a national test zone for a new technology designed to ease congestion and improve traffic flow.
According to a OTLA press release, during the test phase electronic traffic signals at select Peterborough intersections will be outfitted with new “sound sensor” receptors that when triggered will automatically prompt the lights to change from red to green. To trigger the “sound sensor” receptor and change the light, simply honk your horn twice.
Marilyn Phibbs, Executive Chair of the OTLA, says, “We are constantly inundated with complaints from drivers who find themselves sitting at a red light with no oncoming traffic for an unreasonable period of time. In some cases, drivers have experienced road rage during lengthy waits at a red light. We are confident sound sensor signals will resolve this problem and improve traffic flow. We appreciate the opportunity to test it in Peterborough.”
From midnight through noon today (Tuesday, April 1st), the following intersections are designated test zones: Lansdowne Street West and Monaghan Road, Sherbrooke Street and Clonsilla Avenue, Parkhill Road East and Armour Road, and King and George Street, Downtown.
Data will be collected and evaluated by the OTLA to determine the effectiveness of the system as well as any adjustments required to the sensitivity of the sensors. Drivers are reminded that the “sound sensor” traffic light system is in a preliminary test-phase only and are warned not to proceed through a red light should the signal not change to green right away. Please honk twice and wait.
Pending any unanticipated delays, the OTLA says the new technology will be introduced in communities across the province beginning this summer at an expected cost of $150 million dollars. Funds to make the technological transition will be passed along to Ontario drivers through a minimal increase in annual Vehicle License Renewal Stickers.
The Ontario Traffic Light Association (OTLA) was founded April 1st by a public citizen’s group aimed at addressing issues affecting drivers at controlled intersections. This Ontario-based organization is privately funded by the Global LED Traffic Light Manufacturers with its Head Office located at 0401 Simpleton Lane, Toronto, Ontario. Follow its Executive Chair Marilyn Phibbs on Twitter @OTLA0401.
UPDATE: Our Scott Arnold tested it out this morning...