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Traffic Group Signals has developed an enhanced technology that will prevent temporary traffic lights from failing because of busy radio channels.

Traditional portable traffic lights work by using fixed-channel radio communications between signals. However, this means that the radio signal can become jammed and cause the traffic lights to shut down or go ‘all red’, leading to a major safety concern. The group says this can even occur as a result of something simple, such as construction workers using walkie-talkies nearby.

By observing trends in radio usage, the manufacturing company has been able to boost the performance of its active channel management (ACM) technology. This means it can spot peak and off-peak times where spikes may be more common.

This comes after more than four years of research and development by the company. It says that since upgrading the technology, it had ‘experienced flawless communications between lights at one of the team’s most challenging sites in central London’.

Darren Hudson, senior projects manager at Traffic Group Signals, said: “It seems utterly bonkers that there is not a dedicated radio band for traffic signals doesn’t it? Unfortunately, any changes to the radio use would need to be lobbied to Ofcom – which would take considerable time and resources – and would require all manufacturers to update the radio hardware in their equipment, which I’m not sure there is any appetite to do.

“This would benefit future use but would mean there are tens of thousands of signals in active deployment that are unable to use the new channel – you are not able to tune signals, they are normally fixed on a band – so the problem would not go away overnight.

“Radio technology is certainly not ideal but we hope that with our latest development to our patent pending technology we have overcome the majority of issues we are likely to face out on site.”

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