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'Green Means Slow': road crews add more green lights to plow trucks

Road crews throughout northern Michigan are making some changes hoping to keep all drivers, including their own, safe.This year drivers may be seeing a lot more trucks with green lights out on the roads.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- With all the snow on the way, things can get pretty dangerous out on the roads.

Road crews throughout northern Michigan are making some changes hoping to keep all drivers safe.

Last year some snow plow trucks changed out their white lights for green lights.

This year drivers may be seeing a lot more trucks with green lights out on the roads.

"I really think they are going to work well," said Toby Javin with the Grand Traverse County Road Commission

Javin said the green lights help their plows stand out.

In 2016 nearly 70 percent of county road commissions in Michigan made the switch to the green lights, that's according to the County Road Association of Michigan.

"Experts in the human eye say that the green light part of the spectrum of color is more visible to the human eye than an amber light," said James Lake with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT has also made the transition to the green lights.

"We're hearing from motorists that the new green lights are much more visible," said Lake.

"You hardly see green lights on vehicles and it really identifies that it's a snow plow so you give a little more space," said Avery Pucelik, who lives in Traverse City. "I think it's a good thing."

Many crews are also adding green lights to the wings of the plows.

"The top [of the wing] is only about 30 inches or so," said Javin. "This raises it another 30 plus inches and it really brings to light so that everyone can see it well in the snow dust."

"In the past we have had issues with people trying to pass our plow trucks from the right," said Lake. "Adding that flashing strobe to the wing light helps cut down on that as well."

"If people are more aware and they know that every snow plow has a green light on it, they will be more cautious," said Plucelik.

Even though the trucks will be equipped with the added visibility, that's only part of the battle when driving in snowy conditions.

Javin wants to remind everyone to make sure your cars are ready for the icy roads.

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