Brookhaven will upgrade traffic signals in the town to a GPS-linked system that will help emergency vehicles navigate congested roads.
The town board approved the use of a $1.8-million Federal Highway Administration grant to pay for the new Opticom
All 480 traffic lights in the town will receive the system upgrade, the town said. The GPS devices will be installed atop the traffic signals in white plastic bubbles.
The emergency vehicle will send signals to nearby traffic lights about the vehicle’s speed and direction. The system can even detect when turn signals are activated and change the traffic signals in the appropriate direction.
The current system is about 12 years old and relies on infrared sight, which gave emergency vehicles less time to modify upcoming traffic signals.
“For first responders, a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death for those they are trying to assist,” said Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), who helped secure the funding.