In addition to being pinsetters and ball returners, those who work the lanes at Southport Lanes must take on a third role--traffic cop.

“We have a red light and a green light,” General manager Phil Carneol said.

Pinsetters will set the light to red when they’re setting the pins so that bowlers know not to take their turn and green when the coast is clear. The system was installed a couple of years ago specifically to minimize the risk of bodily harm to the pinsetters.

“We’ve made it easy for people even after they’ve had a couple of drinks. If you have the red light, you don’t bowl,” Carneol said.

And while it’s part of his job description, pinsetter Gabriel Dominguez, 36, acknowledged he’s forgotten to flip the switch a couple of times over the years.

“When I forget to turn on the light, we have problems with the customers because they say ‘hey, what should I do?’ ” Dominguez said. “You just turn it on and that’s it. It’s no big deal.”

Matt Lindner is a RedEye special contributor.

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