If you feel the need to speed through a stoplight intersection, the Iowa Legislature is trying to ensure you don’t use a special device that turns stoplights to green. The bill makes it illegal for all but emergency services vehicles to have new-fangled “pre-emptive devices.”Representative Gerald Jones, a republican from Silver City, says the devices are now being sold on E-Bay, and they’re relatively cheap. Jones says it makes sense for ambulances, fire trucks and snow plows to be able to use these new devices. A strobe light triggers the control mechanism in a traffic light, turning the lights to green for the on-coming vehicle and turning all other lights at the intersection red. “You’ve got a clear intersection to go through,” he says. Those caught with one of these “pre-emptive devices” in their car or truck would be charged with a simple misdemeanor, and face a fine of up to five-hundred dollars, a month in jail or both. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve here, actually, and cut it off before there (are) a whole lot of problems,” he says. Jones was the mayor of Silver City for 26 years, and is a trained E-M-T. The bill cleared the House Transportation Committee this (Tuesday) morning.
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