State road commissions add green lights to municipal snow plows

New lights will help drivers see snow plows this winter

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - A bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in June 2016 will have an impact this winter.

It allows road commissions and municipalities to add green lights to maintenance vehicles like snow plows. The color green may help drivers identify snow plows sooner during bad snow storms.

Thursday, Oct. 20, members of the Muskegon County Road Commission were at a Ravenna Elementary School as part of the road commission's "Play It Safe" program.

Workers talked with elementary age students, reminding them it's not safe to play in the snow along the road.

Muskegon County Road Commission Maintenance Director Eric Scott says it time to remind adults about a few safety tips too -- like giving snow plow drivers space, and slow down when approaching the large 30-ton trucks.

Scott says it seems like once a year, a driver rear ends a snow plow.

Experts say the green cone in the human eye is the most sensitive and has the largest wavelength. The color green appears brighter and can be seen from farther away.

In Muskegon County, the trucks outfitted with green lights will still use amber lights, too.

The additional lights add several hundred dollars to the cost of a new truck, and about the same if added on to existing trucks.

"Several road commission vehicles, primarily state trunkline sanders will be upgraded with the green lights," said Scott.

A September 2016 survey of Michigan's county road agencies by the County Road Association of Michigan revealed that more than 70 percent of agencies will be implementing green lights this year, climbing to more than 85 percent in 2017 and beyond.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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