Some New York cities are trying hi-tech traffic lights to help ease traffic congestion. Mount Pleasant is the first New York community to try using the new traffic lights which have been shown to reduce delays by as much as 30 percent.

This is good news for defensive drivers who might have worried about the mental health of their fellow drivers, stressed out from the long commute. Defensive drivers know that they need to relax behind the wheel and focus on the destination (arriving safe and sound) instead of the journey.

The Mount Pleasant Town Council Bids and Purchases Committee approved the purchase of an InSync Adaptive Traffic Control System for eight intersections along five miles of U.S. 17. The lights had already been tested on a smaller portion of U.S. 17 where significant decreases in travel time were seen as a result.

The new lights are designed to better time the flow of traffic through intersections, using special digital sensors and computer aided technology to make it as close to perfect as possible.

The InSync Adaptive Traffic Control System is manufactured by Rhythm Engineering. The information is updated every second and fed down the line of integrated traffic light so vehicle scan move more easily through the chain of intersections. The cameras and cables will keep track of traffic at each of the intersections so it will “know” how fast vehicles are moving and whether or not something needs to be changed to accommodate a better flow. The company says the new traffic signal system can reduce up to 90 percent of stop-and-go traffic, leading to a 30 percent reduction in the release of greenhouse gases as a side benefit. Of course what drivers want is to get home from work sooner and avoid delays from having to sit at traffic lights half the time.

New technology is no substitute for good New York defensive driving, however. Drivers still need to care to avoid driving during rush hour (if possible) and if they do get stuck in traffic, to keep their cool. Remember, you won’t be stuck in traffic forever; you will get where you are going eventually, unless you try to run the light and get sideswiped by a tractor-trailer. Then no traffic light is going to help.