ODOT Hopes Green Lights Save Lives

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CLEVELAND -- Henry Rodriguez has been a salt truck driver for the Ohio Department of Transportation for 22 years and says when a big winter storm hits, he has to worry about the drivers around him and whether they will give his truck a wide enough berth to clear the roads.  But he says accidents are inevitable.

Rodriguez told Fox 8, "It always happens, no matter what they come up with, something is always going to happen, nothing is perfect."

To cut down on crashes, ODOT is trying a new combination of lights on its salt and plow trucks. 

Green, amber and white lights, all with different pulses, have been installed on a number of trucks in the Cleveland area.

ODOT says studies suggest that green lights are more easily detected by the human eye than other colors.

"We've had a number of rear end collisions. Since 2009 and 2010, we've had about 34 collisions with our dump trucks, so that's a lot higher than our neighboring states,” said ODOT spokesperson Jocelynn Clemings. “We’ve found these green lights are more easily seen in these white out conditions."

Henry Rodriguez says safety will still largely depend on drivers limiting distractions and taking it slow in icy conditions, but he is optimistic that the new green lights will help.

"I'm sure it'll work out good, it looks like they're brighter, people should be able to see it a lot clearer," Rodriguez said.

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