Lafayette adjusts magnetically-activated lights for cell phone users

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Lafayette has tweaked its magnetically-activated stoplights to give drivers engrossed in their smart phones more time to realize the light has turned green.

Some intersections in Lafayette have magnets in the pavement that sense vehicles and traffic to help stoplights adjust traffic slow.

City Engineer Jenny Leshney tells the Journal & Courier that when a stoplight changes from red to green, stopped motorists usually take two to three seconds to get moving. But if they don't react fast enough, the traffic lights' sensors cycle the light back to red.

Leshney says the widespread use of smart phones and Internet access has slowed motorists' reaction time.

She says Lafayette has adjusted its magnetically-activated stoplights to give stopped motorists six seconds to realize the light has changed.

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