Green lights only for township fire department
By Kevin Elliott
Imagine never catching another red light in traffic again. It sounds like a superpower created in a comedy movie, but for Bloomfield Township firefighters it’s a reality that may save lives.
Think of it as a magic box the size of a cell phone inside your vehicle that changes traffic lights to green as you approach. That’s the latest technology being implemented by the fire department at four intersections in Bloomfield Township. It’s called “Eliminator” by Collision Control Communications, and the township is the first in the state to use it.
Bloomfield Township Fire Chief John LeRoy said the devices are already installed in the department’s vehicles. Under a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the counterparts will be installed at four intersections: Woodward and Square Lake Road; Square Lake Road and Telegraph; Maple and Telegraph; and Long Lake Road and Telegraph.
LeRoy said the devices signal traffic lights from about a quarter mile away, forcing them to cycle through a standard three-signal change to give approaching first responders a green signal. By cycling through the signal, the device avoids sudden stops that commonly result in traffic accidents. LeRoy said the devices also increase response times.
“If this is successful, our plan is to expand it out to other major intersections in the township, as well. Once we do some beta testing for a year or two to make sure this is what we want to do for our apparatus,” LeRoy said. “What’s nice about this is that eventually, if the police department decides they want to pursue this as well, it’s totally interchangeable. They can put it in their patrol cars down the line, as well.”
While the devices are already installed in fire vehicles, Oakland County will install the counterpart at intersections on behalf of the state, which maintains control over Woodward and Telegraph as state trunklines. LeRoy said the installation consists of two wires and the cost to install is estimated at about $500 for all four intersections.
Trustees on Monday unanimously approved the department to enter into a contract with MDOT to install and use the devices.