New reflective tape placed on traffic lights to improve safety

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Some traffic lights in the Peoria area have a new look as part of a project by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

On roads such as Adams Street, Fayette Street, and Jefferson Avenue, some traffic lights have a border of yellow reflective tape.

IDOT says this is a high visibility tape designed to improve safety. IDOT's District 4 began putting the tape on traffic lights in 2014 in Macomb. District 4 covers 12 counties: Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Stark, Knox, Fulton, Mercer, Warren, McDonough, and Henderson.

The project is about 40 percent complete and should be finished this fall, IDOT said in an email, adding that feedback from motorists has been positive.

IDOT said the project focuses on state routes for District 4 and includes 202 intersections in 12 counties. "These are also installed elsewhere in the state," the email said.

"Studies have shown a reduction in crashes and a reduction in red-light running with reflective tape on the backplates," IDOT said in an email. "The reflective tape increases the visibility of the signal heads. It also provides the benefit for those who are color blind, as red and green can be difficult to differentiate. For example, at night, this helps determine the location of the light that is active on the signal head."

IDOT said crews don't need to remove a traffic light to affix the tape, but the temperature must be above 60 degrees, and the light's backplate must be clean.

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