ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — For weeks, FOX 2’s You Paid For It Team has been pushing to get St. Louis City and County to implement a new system to make intersections safer for emergency vehicles and motorists.
Now, the St. Louis County Council has passed a resolution to study implementing a similar system county-wide.
St. Charles County is already working to put a new system in place at 351 intersections, as FOX 2 reported in April. County Executive Steve Ehlmann pushed the idea, which would keep the lights green for emergency vehicles while turning them red for all other traffic. The project costs $800,000, with federal money covering 80 percent.
After seeing the report, St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Rita Heard Days shared the idea with other members. Next, the council will have hearings to further discuss the resolution.
“It’s going to look at how we are addressing the intersections and how the first responders can get through quicker,” said Days. “We noticed that in St. Charles, and even in one fire protection district in West County, they have a GPS system on the cars. And these GPS systems interact with the intersections, and they trigger those lights as they go through so they don’t have to stop or slow down for that. They have the green to move forward, and that’s what we’re looking at for the entire county. Again, we have to cobble together everybody to make sure this works for everybody.”
Days has a lot of support. Vinita Park Mayor James Mcgee said if St. Charles County can do it, so can St. Louis County.
The head of the St. Louis NAACP also weighed in on the plan to make the community safer.
“You know I think it’s a given,” said . “I think if we got the technology that makes it happen, it is something that we should be chasing versus running away from. I think there have been enough collisions between emergency vehicles and just passenger vehicles who are trying to get to one place or another.”
The Metro West Fire Protection District has been using the intersection system for decades. Theirs is at about 43 intersections. Next, there will be hearings on the resolution and the council examines how best to make the system work.