NewsChannel 5's stories on snow clogged LED traffic lights catches attention of lawmakers

CLEVELAND, Ohio - It was so cold Thursday, there were still many snow clogged LED traffic lights all over Cleveland and surrounding suburbs.

In previous stories, including Wednesday, we saw drivers blowing through snow covered LED red lights.

A tow truck slammed into the front end of a car Thursday at W. 117th St. and Berea Road in Cleveland.

"The light was covered with snow," said Orlando Rivera.

Rivera said he followed traffic through the light, but the snow clogged LED light was red and he didn't know because the LED light was covered in snow.

No one seriously hurt, this time.

"I hit him because the light was still covered with snow, and a city crew just came out here a here a few minutes ago and cleaned it (snow) up," Rivera said.

Rivera said city crews cleared the snow off the light right after the crash but didn't get all the snow. 

"You always have mishaps of what color the signal light is, red or green, because of the snow," said Hoffa Assad who owns a car dealership on West 117th St. 

Assad said, unlike power outages, where people know to treat the intersection as a four way stop, snow clogged lights are deceiving.

The green hue shines through a bit, while the darker red gets buried during wind whipped snow.

"The red is usually brighter than the green, it's very hard to determine when you get blowing snow like that," Assad said.

Incandescent lights hit 90 degrees melting snow, but LED's stay so cool and the snow sticks.


Brook Park tries to clear snow from lights after wind whipped snow like Wednesday and city leaders are looking for other solutions

"Such as putting a heating element into a traffic light. I talked to GE today, and that's on the drawing board to create a device that does that," said Brook Park Safety Director Dave Burns.

States do not mandate or force cities to use LED traffic signals.

Cities choose to use them to save money on electric bills.

NewsChannel 5's stories about the dangers of snow clogged LED traffic signals caught the attention of lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Jim Renacci made time to watch the stories from the nation's capital on Newsnet5.com and issued this statement.

"Though energy-efficient LED traffic lights are cost-savers, it is evident that there is reason to be concerned, particularly during snow storms. As a former mayor, I'm encouraged to hear that local governments are dedicated to improving public safety. I thank Channel 5 for raising awareness about this important issue and I'm confident that our local leaders will take the appropriate steps to address it." - Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16)

Print this article Back to Top

Comments