You know it’s going to be a bad day when you’re already late leaving home and on the journey to work it seems like every traffic signal you meet is on red. As you sit in the queue you get to thinking how neat it would be if you could press a button on the dash and change the light to green. The problem is even more critical for emergency vehicles trying to thread their way through the congestion.

The power to switch traffic signals to green will soon be an option for police officers working for the Philadelphia Police Department. It was announced earlier this week that they will, by the end of March next year, have taken delivery of 150 vehicles including patrol cars, SUVs and sedans equipped with the technology that allows officers to take control of traffic signals when responding to emergencies.

The vehicles will also have protective ballistic shields fitted to the doors and windows.