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But while drivers, including Thomas Bender of York County, worry that "someone is going to get killed" because they cannot tell which light is shining, Kassel said she has not seen any accident report for intersections across the city that said traffic signals were the cause.

´╗┐Drivers say LED traffic signal lights in Newport News are hard to see

At some intersections additional signals are mounted on poles to the side of the road, rather than overhead.

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get hit," he wrote.

Blame it on the season, the time of day or the direction of travel, but drivers in Newport News say they cannot see whether to go or stop at dozens of intersections in the city because they cannot tell which traffic lamp is lit.

"When the sun is shining on them it is virtually impossible to see if they are showing red or green. The colors are completely washed out," said Newport News resident Clyde Marsteller Nike Kyrie 1 Red

Bland and Brick Kiln boulevards.

Newport News has joined hundreds of localities across the nation that have switched to LED lamps, which, studies have shown, are brighter than the incandescent lamps they replace, and use less energy. For the past three years, traffic signals at all 287 of the city's intersections have used LED lights.

Of the intersections Daily Press readers said had the worst traffic signals in terms of visibility, three had more than 50 collisions in 2011 and Boys' Grade School Nike Kyrie 1 Basketball Shoes 2012 combined, according to collision statistics the traffic engineering department receives from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The three intersections all are on Jefferson Avenue: J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Oyster Point Road and Bland Boulevard. But signal visibility was not the cause cited in any of those collisions, according to the reports, Kassel said. "What really helps are visors and back plates," she said.

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But dozens of drivers in Newport News believe the lamps are not as easy to see as the incandescents they replaced, especially when the sun is shining on or behind them.

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And City Engineering Director Everett Skipper said Newport News has embarked on a program to replace lamps at many of the city's intersections, especially those that have been in place at least six years. Skipper said that while the lamps can last up to 10 years, they begin to dim over time, making them more difficult to see. Last week city crews installed new lamps at key intersections on Jefferson Avenue, including those at Nike Men's Kyrie Irving

The traffic signal on Mercury Boulevard at River Road approaching the James River Bridge was another trouble spot, especially in the morning, several readers said.

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Traffic engineers have installed visors, which look like long snouts, and back plates to cut glare on all of the city's permanent traffic signals, and many of its temporary units.

"I have been in the situation where the lights were so washed out that the first cars side by side in two or three lanes of traffic refuse to go across the intersection until someone starts. Then they all go, hoping they will not Nike Zoom Clear Out Red And White

told the Daily Press.

The sun's glare competes with the signals and drivers cannot tell when to enter intersections

Brighter lights cannot come soon enough for drivers like Marsteller.

Daily Press reader John Jackson disagreed, saying in an email that the visibility problem extends beyond winter months.

City Assistant Engineering Director Jacqueline Kassel said the complaints occur every year, usually in the winter months. "When the sun is lower, that's when we get more complaints," she said. "It's seasonal."

And Al Crane, who said he has a background in physics and photography, noted that all the lights appear to be the same intensity, so "people just follow the cars, trucks in front of them."

Many of those drivers blame the inability to see whether the red, green or yellow lamps are lit on the city's switch over the past eight years to Light Emitting Diode, or LED lamps.

Their concerns have prompted the City Council to request a report from the Engineering Department on what is being done to improve traffic signal visibility at intersections. The Council will hear from the Engineering Department in February after cancelling its Jan. 28 work session because of snow.

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