The Vinton City Council has been asked to make flashing red lights the norm for downtown traffic lights.

A mechanical problem with the downtown Vinton traffic lights last month gave one Vinton resident an idea that city officials are now considering.

Kent Stufflebeam told the council at its last meeting that while driving through downtown, while the stop lights at each corner were flashing red, he noticed that he spent less time waiting than when the lights were functioning normally on the green, red, yellow sequence.

Stufflebeam told the council that he often found himself at a red light, waiting when no traffic was approaching. He said the flashing red lights that were in place while the problem was being fixed were more convenient — and wasted less gas.

City officials did not take any action on his request, but seemed favorable toward the idea of reconsidering traffic lights. Council members were unsure of what kind of action would be required to make the change official, whether a simple motion or a resolution would be required.

Police Capt. Eric Dickenson told the council that consistency with lights would help drivers. He said that when people become accustomed to lights on one sequence are suddenly faced with a different one, they are more likely to run a red light.