Stuck at a Red Light in the Hudson Valley?
Have you ever been stuck at a red light in the Hudson Valley and wondered why it's taking so long?
We've all been there at one time or another, you pull up to a stop light and you sit and wait patiently for the light to change green. Sometimes traffic lights in parts of the Hudson Valley feel like they take way too long to turn green and there is nothing that can frustrate a driver more than just sitting there waiting, right? Most times we notice this when we are running late for work or are rushing to get somewhere. UGH!
Reasons Traffic Lights Won't Turn Green
Did you know that there might be a good reason the traffic light is stuck on red? If you've ever experienced a long wait at a traffic light it might be because the light doesn't even know that you are sitting there according to News 10. Some traffic lights in the Hudson Valley run on timers, which can vary by the time of day or if there's something special going on in the area. Just last month we shared information about how the traffic lights are set for a specific speed on the arterial (44/55) in Poughkeepsie.
Other traffic lights in the Hudson Valley use other methods to detect if someone is at the light or not including cameras and underground sensors. Most intersections in the area use sensors which are normally placed on the pavement near the stop line (rectangle-shaped) and when a vehicle hits the sensor it signals the light that someone is there. Sometimes the sensors will miss a vehicle and that could be why the light you are at is taking so long to change.
How to Activate Traffic Light Sensors
If that happens to you the Department of Transportation recommends you look around the intersection for a sensor and if you find one, make sure your vehicle's tires hit it. The NYSDOT uses various sensors that are put in the pavement with most needing a vehicle to drive over them so the next time you feel like you are waiting too long, scan around your vehicle to see if you might have missed it.
NYSDOT also uses infrared sensors that are common in parts of New York and are triggered once a vehicle breaks the beam of light the sensor is emitting. Some sensors can also detect heat from a vehicle’s engine. Oftentimes these sensors are either high above the the intersection near the traffic light or in metal boxes hanging above the roadway. Many major cities use traffic cameras at traffic lights and can adjust the signals as needed.
It's unclear if any of the traffic cameras are in use in the Hudson Valley but always remember to wait for the light to turn green before you go because we would hate for you to get a ticket in the mail.
How to Get a Light to Turn Green
If you find yourself stuck at a red light and already tried to drive over the the sensor, you can also try flashing your high-beam headlights to activate the sensor. Lastly honking your horn at the light won't work since these sensors don’t detect sound.