(Toledo News Now) - The Ohio Department of Transportation said it has been phasing in LED blankout lights, which flash when it is not OK to turn on red. Drivers in the Perrysburg and Rossford area feel it is causing confusion.
ODOT said it has been installing the lights over the past few years in areas that have heavier, conflicting traffic patterns. Wood County drivers said they are noticing them more as the area grows and traffic gets more congested. That is why ODOT said it is more important than ever for drivers to pay attention.
Drivers said the problem is that people do not always think to look to the right of the regular traffic light.
"That's a good idea, but initially it's a little bit of a confusing one. Maybe later on people will understand that, they will follow that," said driver Antony Durairaj.
Some of the drivers who do notice the LED blankout light treat it more like a suggestion. On the corner of U.S. 20 and Interstate 75, only one driver in an hour has actually followed the curb lane turn signal.
"I've seen a few of them where they just go through anyway. But it does seem to eliminate some of the traffic being backed up on the right hand turn," said driver James McLaughlin.
ODOT said the lights are an important safety tool, especially in Wood County.
"They could be used in various places where you have intersections, higher volumes of traffic, traffic that we see higher accident rates. And that's why we put these signs up in the first place, just as an added reminder for people to pay extra attention," explained Theresa Pollick, ODOT public information officer.
Pollick said ODOT has done everything possible to make the signs visible. Now drivers need to do their part.
"It's just one of those things where you have to follow and obey the rules of the road, because they're there for a reason, whether it's a construction barrel saying do not enter or whether it's one of these signs, we just remind everybody just to follow the rules of the road," said Pollick.