New technology will end ‘scary’ red reverts at hundreds of Ottawa intersections


Cyclists are expressing some relief over new software designed to cut down on the potentially dangerous traffic signal trend of red reverts.

The “amber lock” is made-in-Ottawa software that’s set to be rolled out at hundreds of intersections with high volumes of cyclists.

Red reverts occur when vehicles, including bicycles, cause sensors in the road to trigger a traffic light change.

The sensor technology is meant to speed the flow of traffic through intersections. But if the vehicle or bicycle moves past the sensors too soon, the signal immediately switches back to red and the cross traffic gets a green light again.

That can leave cyclists caught in the middle of an intersection as the traffic signal is changing.

Instead of that happening, the amber lock guarantees the opposing traffic signal will stay red for at least 10 seconds, giving them more time to cross the intersection, said Phil Landry, the city’s director of traffic services.


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