In an effort to help police officers deter the running of red lights in Bismarck, the city commission authorized the North Dakota Department of Transportation to outfit 97 intersections with law enforcement confirmation lights.
“These are not red light cameras, which are actually forbidden by the Legislature,” Commissioner Nancy Guy said. “They are just a light that allows a law enforcement officer, who is at a different point in the intersection, to see when that light is red. Obviously, if you’re still moving forward, you’ve run the red light.”
The lights will be blue in color, omnidirectional and mounted on top of the pole, near the signal head. Some intersections may have up to eight confirmation lights, as protected left turns will have their own confirmation light, located on the underside of the traffic signal pole.
Existing pedestrian signal heads also will be replaced in numerous intersections with countdown pedestrian signal heads, which flash numbers that count down the number of seconds remaining until the “don’t walk” hand is displayed.
The city entered into two agreements with the NDDOT for the project — one agreement each for the signalized intersections on the Urban Roads System and the Primary and Secondary Regional Highway Systems.
The city’s share of the $608,396 project is anticipated to be $45,725, which will be funded by sales tax dollars.
“We can do all of the engineering, and all of the lighting and all of the safety improvements known, but it actually takes good, responsible safe driving practices ... so that we can all arrive safely at our destinations,” said Commissioner Josh Askvig.