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LAFAYETTE – Lafayette has tweaked its magnetically activated traffic lights to give motorists engrossed in their smartphones more time to realize the light has turned green.

Some intersections in Lafayette have magnets in the pavement that sense vehicles and traffic to help traffic lights adjust traffic flow.

City Engineer Jenny Leshney told the Journal & Courier (http://on.jconline.com/V3sKX9) that when a stoplight changes from red to green, stopped motorists usually take two to three seconds to get moving. But if they don’t react fast enough, the traffic light’s sensors cycle the light back to red.

Leshney said the widespread use of smartphones and Internet access has slowed motorists’ reaction time.

She said Lafayette has adjusted its magnetically activated traffic lights to give stopped motorists six seconds to realize the light has changed.

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