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04-18-06, 11:52 PM #1Signal_W Guest
Colorado Man Accused of Changing Traffic Lights
The Associated Press
A man who said he bought a device that let him change traffic lights from red to green has received a $50 ticket on suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal.
Jason Niccum of Longmont told the Daily Times-Call that the device, which he bought on eBay for $100, helped him cut his time driving to work.
"I guess in the two years I had it, that thing paid for itself," he told the newspaper Wednesday.
Niccum was cited March 29 after police said they found him using a strobe-like device to change traffic signals.
"I'm always running late," police quoted Niccum as saying in an incident report.
The device, called an Opticon, is similar to what firefighters use to change lights when they respond to emergencies. It emits an infrared pulse that receivers on the traffic lights pick up.
Niccum was cited after city traffic engineers who noticed repeated traffic-light disruptions on certain intersections spotted a white Ford pickup passing by whenever the light patterns were disrupted.
City traffic engineer Joe Olson said traffic engineers plan to update the city's Opticon system this year to block unauthorized light-changing signals.
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