A driver in Colorado caused gridlock for the past 2 1/2 years by using a device only made for emergency vehicles that changes traffic lights green automatically.
The radar detector-sized gadget works by flashing an infra-red strobe light at traffic lights equipped with a special receiver.
The system, which is not in use in New York City, is designed to be used only by fire trucks and ambulances - not late-for-work motorists.
"I drive a lot, and getting through city traffic it definitely helped out there," said Niccum, adding that the device changed red lights to green in four or five seconds. "In hindsight, I'm kind of glad it got taken away."
He was nabbed after Longmont traffic engineers set up a video camera at the intersection after receiving complaints about gridlock. The camera recorded Niccum's white Ford pickup going through the intersection whenever the light inexplicably changed.
"People think it's comical, but the amount of people caught waiting during red lights created a long backup," traffic engineer Joe Olson told the Rocky Mountain News. "He was getting to work at the expense of thousands of others."
He was fined $50. For 2 1/2 years of inhibiting the commerce and productivity of others, to say nothing of the additional stress. Gridlock has a domino effect that can cause people to go from being 5 minutes early to 5 minutes late, or worse. People could have lost jobs because of this troglodyte. He should have been guillotined.