Why an Albuquerque traffic light changed from red to green in seconds

Traffic and Roads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One Albuquerque driver is calling it a glitch in the matrix, talking about a very fast traffic light change at a very busy intersection that he thinks could have caused a crash.

“Did you see that? Did you miss it? Watch,” said YouTuber and Albuquerque driver “Paramount Cyclops.”

Dashcam video shows the eastbound light at Central and Wyoming go from green to yellow to red and then back to green after only a couple seconds.

“Do I need to figure out if I’m in the Matrix?” the driver said.

The city says, no, because there is a logical explanation for the quick red light.

“What’s happening there is a technology we have on our traffic lights called Emergency Preemption Equipment,” said Johnny Chandler with the Department of Municipal Development.

All Albuquerque Fire Rescue engines and ambulances have the equipment, which lets them freeze or change traffic lights to get through intersections faster.

In the video, you do not see any emergency vehicles approaching the intersection because the city says those lights can be triggered from blocks away.

“That’s exactly how it was supposed to work and it did work properly on the video that that gentleman took yesterday,” said Chandler.

Chandler says the technology is nothing new. Over the last 15 years, they’ve installed it in 50% of traffic lights across the city but most drivers have probably never seen them in action.

“We’ve been doing this for 15 years and nobody noticed,” said Chandler.

Chandler says the technology is also working for AFR, as their response times are getting shorter.

The city plans on installing the technology at every traffic light in the city, but is doing so as other major work is needed in the intersection.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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