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  1. #1

    Default LED Yellow Traffic Light Was Invisible Leading to Ticket for Red Light Violation

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Massachusetts City of Lowell

    I was travelling through a roundabout and upon a turn saw a traffic light with no light (green, yellow, red) lit. There was backed up traffic on the crossing side of the intersection and a space to allow cars in my direction through. As I got to the intersection all of a sudden the red light pops on! There was a police officer waiting about 100 feet down the road who stopped me an 1 other car and already had 2 cars stopped! I told him the yellow light was out he said he just checked it is wasn't. I said go check again and of course he would not. After getting the ticket I swung around to take a picture of the light, the yellow was still not visibile but because of the brightness I could not get a video on my phone of any quality.

    I called the city and after a few weeks finally got in touch with the city electrician. He said he could find no reports of that light yellow being out. BUT he did say that with the new LED lights there are certain times of the day when the angle of the sun makes them difficult to see / invisible. I did a web search but could not find anyone else to back up the electrician statement, but most of the sites I find are from LED manufacturers.

    Has anyone else run into a similar issue? Is there any place where this issue with LED lights is documented? What is the best legal strategy to appeal this ticket?

    thank you for any help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LED Yellow Traffic Light Was Invisible Leading to Ticket for Red Light Violation

    Two circumstances can make any traffic light more difficult to see - if the sun is directly behind the light it can make it difficult to look at the light or register what it says; if the sun is shining directly into the light it can make the lights that are off appear partially illuminated while making the illuminated light appear washed out. I suspect that you're dealing with the former situation or the other based upon your inability to take good video.

    In most states, when a traffic light is not operating properly, drivers are to treat it as a four-way stop. Did you do that?

  3. #3

    Default Re: LED Yellow Traffic Light Was Invisible Leading to Ticket for Red Light Violation

    I did not treat it as a 4-way stop. At the cross the cars were all backed up so the cross traffic could not move... But I see you are saying I should have come to a full stop before going...

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