New Blue Lights Installed at 14 Intersections in Duluth, Hermantown

DULUTH, Minn. – Across the state of Minnesota, the majority of serious and fatal crashes occur at four-way intersections with traffic signals, according to St. Louis County.

In an effort to reduce crashes at these intersections, the County has installed a new tool to make these intersections safe as part of the state’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative.

Bright, blue lights have been added to signal posts at 14 locations where either two county roads, or a county road and city street intersect.

The blue light is synchronized with the traffic signal, so that it shines when the signal shows red.

The light is to help assist law enforcement officers, who can use the blue light to determine if a motorist ran a red light. It also reduces the cost for law enforcement by requiring only one officer at the intersection than the two previously needed. The lights are not equipped with any recording devices, an officer still must be present to observe a red light violation in order to issue a ticket.

“If we’re serious about the toward zero death initiative, if we’re serious about saying that traffic fatalities are unacceptable, the elephant in the room in the urban environment is red light running, Vic Lund, St. Louis County Traffic Engineer stated. “We have to address it.”

The cost to install these blue lights is $2,800 per intersection, which was 90-percent covered by Federal Highway Safety funds.

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