I found out about this little gem of a secret while riding in the car with a friend this past weekend. Ditting at a red light, we watched an ambulance pass through the intersection stopping all other traffic. He proceeded to tell me that stoplights sometimes sense emergency personnel vehicles and change to green as they approach. Interesting. However, this can also sometimes be used to our advantage to change stoplights on a whim. Now we’re really talking.

Unbeknownst to many, some stoplights are equipped with sensors that pick up flashing, strobe-type lights, much like those on ambulances or police cars. This was invented so that those vehicles could move through traffic more effortlessly, keeping opposing traffic stopped. Sometimes, when regular cars flash their lights on and off quickly, the system can get tripped.

As is true in any instance of civilians discovering ways to manipulate the system, many cities have attempted to implement changes to the sensors that would not allow them to become tripped by regular motorists, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try. Coincidence or no coincidence, if it works, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for sticking it to the man. Know more.