As you drive along Arizona’s highways, you may notice vehicles from the Arizona Department of Transportation off to the side with emergency lights running to alert drivers to the presence of workers. ADOT is continuing to look into using solar power to run these emergency lights.
In order to use the emergency lights, the vast majority of roadside crews need to keep their vehicles running. This results in engines idling, which wastes fuel and emits pollution.
The agency currently has 46 vehicles equipped with solar-powered lights to cut down on fuel consumption as well as emissions.
ADOT’s test of solar emergency lights has been going on for the past year, focusing on how well they work in Arizona’s varied climates and temperature extremes.
ADOT plans to install solar emergency lights on 50 additional vehicles over the next several months that will incorporate improvements such as battery packs with a higher heat tolerance, an improved remote control unit with more power level indicators and more lights inside the light bar while testing continues over the next year.