Is the Green Light Trigger Legal?
We get this mistaken criticism, from time to time: “It’s illegal to trigger green lights. That device is illegal.”
Sorry. But wrong!
Granted, these are honest mistakes, but they are simply born out of confusing emergency vehicle devices, called MIRT devices – and otherwise known as Mobile Infrared Transmitters – with our own Green Light Trigger devices. The two devices use completely different systems to trigger green lights. One restricted to emergency vehicles and the other in place for civilian vehicles.
MIRT devices are 12-volt-powered strobe lights that can send signals from more than 1,500 feet away to traffic lights and when sensed by traffic lights, immediately result in the signals in that direction turning green. Those devices are exclusively restricted to emergency vehicles like ambulances, police vehicles, and fire vehicles to trigger green lights in emergency situations and are typically mounted to their windshields. And we’ve all seen them in action. Your green light is suddenly and immediately switched to red while simultaneously you hear an emergency vehicle’s sirens alerting traffic to move aside. MIRT devices are highly illegal to possess and use for “civilians.” They are restricted to emergency personnel for emergency situations and they trigger a sensor directly at the light, itself.
The Green Light Trigger, does not use that technology and it does not trigger that particular light sensor.
The Green Light Trigger uses a different sensor embedded in the pavement called the induction loop detector or induction loop sensor.
These sensors are placed there, in the pavement, to detect civilian vehicles. When a civilian vehicle stops at a traffic light, above or near the embedded sensor, the sensor’s magnetic field is disrupted by that presence and it understands this to mean that a vehicle is waiting and will need to pass. It then sends a request to the light to turn green, and in the normal flow of traffic a green light will occur. The process is not typically immediate, but a green light is effectively triggered when this process occurs in anywhere from 10 to 45 seconds after the disruption.
Unfortunately, though, the induction loops are somewhat crude technology and while they’re efficient at detecting large structural masses, like full size cars and trucks, they are severely ineffective when it comes to detecting smaller structural masses, such as motorcycles and bicycles. This is true even though they are intended to do so. Motorcycles and bicycles are as entitled to trigger a green light just as much as a full size vehicle is. The Green Light Trigger, then, simply compensates for this lack of structural mass by employing the power of two legal and safe neodymium magnets on a customized chassis that affixes to the smaller vehicle in question “enlarging” its mass and making it “visible” to the induction loop detector. The induction loop detector that is there to detect each-and-every vehicle.
There is nothing innapropriate, artificial, or illegal about the resulting green light. It doesn’t “suddenly” and “immediately” switch the light to green the way MIRT technology bypasses the induction loop system and as such, the Green Light Trigger is as legal at triggering a green light as it is for a full size truck owner to trigger it with his large vehicle. And attaching the GLT to your bike is as lawfully appropriate as affixing a water bottle holder to your bike or attaching a license plate frame to your motorcycle.