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Why have traffic meter lights been active on highway ramps on the weekend? | Why Guy

Sensors in the highway buried beneath the pavement and under the ramps trigger the metering lights.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question comes via email from Greg Jourden who asks, "why on the weekends do they have the traffic metering lights on some of the on-ramps getting on to the freeway?"

Greg, according to Caltrans, studies have found that ramp meters are an effective way to reduce freeway congestion and collisions, improve travel time and make merging on to the freeway safer, whether it be a weekday or weekend. 

Sensors in the highway buried beneath the pavement and under the ramps trigger the metering lights. So how and when are the meters triggered?

"Metering hours are based on traffic demand and activate anytime when minimum traffic thresholds are met. The ramp meters will be active every day including weekends and holidays," a representative for the California Highway Patrol said.

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