‘Smart’ signals clear way for emergency vehicles, ease traffic congestion

Next year, when a fire truck comes screaming down State Road 135 at rush hour, 11 stoplights will help firefighters get to emergencies faster without slowing down your commute.

A total of 18 intersections along State Road 135, State Road 37, Morgantown Road and Smith Valley Road will get new equipment added to traffic lights to make them turn green for fire trucks. Using GPS, the lights will know when an emergency vehicle is coming and will change the signal to clear traffic and allow for the vehicles to get through intersections smoothly.

The new equipment will help ease traffic at busy intersections where fire trucks need to get through and make it safer and easier because they won’t have to weave through cars. Marion County uses the technology, and at least one intersection in Johnson County — outside the White River Township Fire Department station at State Road 37 and Smith Valley Road — has had the GPS equipment since 2001. Greenwood also plans on installing their own.

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