Monday, December 21, 2009

Energy-efficient traffic lights can't melt snow.

Photo taken after a fatal crash in Oswego, Ill. on April 6, 2009. Source AP/Oswego Police.

MILWAUKEE – Cities around the country that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a hazardous downside: The bulbs don't burn hot enough to melt snow and can become crusted over in a storm — a problem blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death.

"I've never had to put up with this in the past," said Duane Kassens, a driver from West Bend who got into a fender-bender recently because he couldn't see the lights. "The police officer told me.

Too bad really. I tend like this sort of clever sort of gadget that offers real cost savings (unlike a lot of hair shirt environmentalism which tends to be about feeling like you're doing something). In real life, there are lots of unforeseen variables that can erase any savings in the blink of an eye.


h/t The Wife.

No comments: