With more widespread use of flashing green lights on state and local winter maintenance vehicles, motorists across Michigan can spot plow trucks more easily, even during whiteout conditions.
In this second winter since the Michigan Legislature passed a bill allowing public maintenance vehicles to use flashing green lights in addition to the traditional flashing yellow, city public works departments, county road commissions, and the Michigan Department of Transportation have been outfitting plow trucks with the more visible beacons.
The County Road Association of Michigan reports that 70 percent of Michigan’s 83 county road agencies used the flashing green lights on all or part of their fleets last winter, a number that has since expanded, and MDOT now has them on more than 200 of its 300 winter maintenance vehicles.
MDOT plans to have all of its winter maintenance vehicles equipped with green lights by the beginning of next winter. The cost to convert lights is less than $100 per truck, and green lights are now specified in any new plow trucks purchased.
Studies suggest that humans can differentiate more shades of green than any other color, and is more sensitive to the green/yellow part of the light spectrum.