"Ratting Out" Bad Drivers

Fresno, CA, USA Once a traffic light turns red, another light on the back also turns red. The small light is called a "rat box". Clovis Police Officer Chuck Wages explains, "It's a nickname for the fact that it rats on the driver, tattle tale on the driver." Officer Wages can now wait yards away and see drivers both cross over the white line and run the red light.

Mark Bradford is Clovis Police Officer and said, "They're used basically for intersection enforcement to reduce the number of accidents within our intersections." Bradford said 11 intersections are now equipped with "rat boxes". It's a small tool that gives police an alternative to the usual and sometimes unsafe way of capturing bad drivers. Bradford said, "You would have to use your emergency lights and go through the intersection which is dangerous."

Fresno also has some rat boxes spread across town. At one point, Fresno Police relied on red light cameras, but that equipment was removed several years ago. "Rat Boxes" are not cameras just simple lights that officers are now explaining to drivers. Wages told a driver, "The LED turns red, so the officer looks down and see when you're crossing the limit line" Officer Wages expects in the coming weeks the "rat box" will be snitching more and more.


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