In about a month, the city of Marysville, California will test the country's first "smart" red light system
, which is designed to predict and prevent traffic collisions at intersections. According to Sacramento's Fox 40 News, the city has incorporated predictive software into an existing red-light camera system, which is located at the intersection of 3rd and F streets. The system predicts when an approaching driver is most likely to run the red light, and it holds traffic coming from other directions until the unlawful car zips safely (and illegally) past. If there isn't a threat of somebody running the light, the intersection lights will just operate as usual.
From the beginning, traffic cameras were meant to make intersections safer by discouraging drivers from running red lights and ticketing those who violated the law. Despite these fines and threats, some people will always break the rules of the road, which is why the preventative aspect of this "smart" red light is so important. It's a much more active way to prevent collisions. The one or two additional seconds a driver might wait at the intersection could literally be the difference between life and death.