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 Post subject: Traffic lights at night
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 17:56 
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Why can’t some traffic lights flash amber (or turn off (I know some do)) at night and during quiet periods? I was driving home at about half ten last night and it was relatively quiet. I had to stop and several traffic lights with no traffic coming. Is it really necessary to mange traffic, which is not there?

Many times I have sat at a traffic light controlled round about, and thought “I could have gone”.

If they flashed amber it could mean give way or proceed with caution.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 09:55 
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Careful now, you're advocating a strange thing called common sense. This is generally completely missing from council road departments, whose sole role in life seems to be to make life difficult for their customers.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 01:22 
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What, allow us to make up our own minds as to when it's safe to proceed? Ha.

I do believe it's getting pretty common around Poole for people (especially taxi drivers?) at night to go when the opposing lights turn amber. We have some traffic light junctions which are completely useless at night.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 20:18 
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Yep, I totally agree. Its something thats been on my mind for years.

In Europe they use cautionary amber lights at night, and in low traffic zones. So why can't we have them. It appears that all our traffic laws are based on the slowest witted driver, and no one else is allowed to show any competance on the road.

I have also noticed a slow replacing of all zebra crossings with pelicans. this is uber-frustrating as it means peds press the button, then cross when its clear, then when you turn up you sit at another red light whilst no peds are around.

Another traffic light idea, which I saw in Thailand, is count down timers on top of the lights, so you know when they will change, saves you sitting on the clutch for 2 mins ready to jump, could even be used to shut off the engine for reduced carbon emissions?!?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 22:01 
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A lot of the problem with traffic lights is the current law.
Green light must be on for at least 7 seconds. Amber light must last exactly 3.
Red light means "stop and wait even if there is nothing coming".

As most people on here know the government will change the paw as quickly as they want when it suits them, they have recently done a lot of banning things and allowing themselves to steal our money for doing things which aren't causing anyone any harm.

I've been thinking about this for a while and I might have just found a solution. Firstly for all lights which are there for a long narrow stretch (like a bridge) where the signals should be able to signal "stop and wait even if there is nothing coming" replace the red light with two flashing red lights, like at a railway.
Once that is done, all single red lights can then have the same meaning as a stop sign. Or maybe a give way. That is, you should give way to others but if the road is clear then you may proceed.
This will mean that they will fulfil their function of sharing the road space and improving traffic flow a lot better. They will invert priority rather than restrict.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 20:20 
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Ziltro wrote:
Green light must be on for at least 7 seconds.


Does that mean the slip road traffic lights you get on joining a Motorway that are on green for 1 second aren't really traffic lights?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 20:34 
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mpaton2004 wrote:
Ziltro wrote:
Green light must be on for at least 7 seconds.


Does that mean the slip road traffic lights you get on joining a Motorway that are on green for 1 second aren't really traffic lights?

Oh. Yeah. I forgot about "ramp metering". They have a different set of crazy rules which I haven't read but am sure they are crazy. I bet they have a completely pointless red & amber. :roll:

What I mean is, I believe they have a different set of legal timings so are probably ok.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 14:07 
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This could be addressed quite easily. If someone wanted to!

There are even some pedestrian crossings that stop the traffic and show green for pedestrians even if there are no pedestrians there! :roll:

This means that they go through a stupid cycle and that pressing the button has no discernible effect!

Then there are the amber nutters who look at the opposing lights, when they go to amber they take off. And run over the poor pedestrian who was crossing the road at the crossing point, as the driver had failed to understand that on a multi-approach road, just because someone else has amber does not mean YOU have green. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 14:19 
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Thatsnews wrote:
Then there are the amber nutters who look at the opposing lights, when they go to amber they take off.

lol - you're lucky they wait for the amber! You want to try driving around West Bromwich for a few hours.
The TL's are so badly phased and unnecessary, it would appear most drivers just ignore them, admittedly mostly with caution...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 15:44 
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BottyBurp wrote:
The TL's are so badly phased and unnecessary, it would appear most drivers just ignore them, admittedly mostly with caution...

Therein is the problem. The law has been over used/abused such that many now make an informed decision to ignore it, doing so whilst remaining within the spirit of the law. Yet those who put up the lights scream blue murder (even if there wasn't any) and then commence enforcement.


It’s worse than that, too many people think 'green means go' (or 'amber means accelerate') - it's like driving by colours (as well as numbers).

Last year I (as well as other drivers) were going Northbound on Alfred Road (during the rare time when the lights were actually green) and was about to enter the yellow box junction when a driver coming southbound decided they would turn right (east) into Unicorn road – without slowing – right in front of me. Braking alone wouldn’t have saved me, I had to steer right towards the other carriageway to avoid. I don't know what evasive manoeuvres the other drivers had to perform. I think we all left two sets of skid-marks on that occasion. Looking behind while shakily driving away, I could see the southbound 'turn right' light was green too......

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:11 
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smeggy wrote:
Therein is the problem. The law has been over used/abused such that many now make an informed decision to ignore it, doing so whilst remaining within the spirit of the law.


An informed decision eh? Makes it sound so much better than 'they just jumped the lights' which, informed or not, is what it boils down to.
I too believe that TLs could be switched off at night, or set to flash amber or whatever, but the annoyance at having to sit at them when nothing is coming isn't go to see me stick two fingers up at the law just because I can. Judging by the number of red light gamblers I see around these parts I can't help but think we might come to wish that it would have been better if we'd all just obeyed the law in the first place.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:27 
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Rigpig wrote:
An informed decision eh? Makes it sound so much better than 'they just jumped the lights' which, informed or not, is what it boils down to.

I believe (but don’t actually know) that most late night jumpers do it carefully – "slowly" (certainly not at normal speed), whilst ensuring absolutely no-one is around, police pedestrians or otherwise.

Rigpig wrote:
I too believe that TLs could be switched off at night, or set to flash amber or whatever, but the annoyance at having to sit at them when nothing is coming isn't go to see me stick two fingers up at the law just because I can. Judging by the number of red light gamblers I see around these parts I can't help but think we might come to wish that it would have been better if we'd all just obeyed the law in the first place.

I see it differently. I think we might come to wish that it would have been better if the law was such that it didn’t needlessly encourage it’s disobedience in the first place.
Given our government, total obedience might result with a traffic light on every corner!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:33 
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Rigpig wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Therein is the problem. The law has been over used/abused such that many now make an informed decision to ignore it, doing so whilst remaining within the spirit of the law.


An informed decision eh? Makes it sound so much better than 'they just jumped the lights' which, informed or not, is what it boils down to.

Hmmm. To me, saying 'just jumped the lights' implies that the driver paid no heed to other road users nor checked that it was safe. But an 'informed' decision - i.e. checks were made to ensure that it was safe to proceed seems to be more the case in West Brom...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:37 
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smeggy wrote:
I believe (but don’t actually know) that most late night jumpers do it carefully – "slowly" (certainly not at normal speed), whilst ensuring absolutely no-one is around, police pedestrians or otherwise.

Well
a. They are still breaking the law
b. I have witnessed a good number not doing it that way at all. A car, at dusk the other evening, simply running straight through a red light at which I was waiting at more or less normal driving speed for that road. Another forced to abort a right turn because they had left it so late going through the red light that the oncoming car had started to move and was going to be covering their 'exit' if they had continued.

Smeggy wrote:
I see it differently. I think we might come to wish that it would have been better if the law was such that it didn’t needlessly encourage it’s disobedience in the first place.
Given our government, total obedience might result with a traffic light on every corner!


The law doesn't encourage its own disobedience Smeggy, its the arrogance of people and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges bad behaviour these days that creates disobedience. We can't go around changing or softening every law that people disobey just because it gives them the immediate convenience of, in this case, not having to wait.


Last edited by Rigpig on Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:48, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:47 
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If a lot of people ignore a law then that law is bad.
It is very common for people to ignore red lights around Poole. Most of them aren't causing any danger. I can only think of one who was... pushing it?

There's quite simply no reason to stop other than because the council (who hate us) put a red light there. And that's not a good enough reason.

Blind obedience is a very bad thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:51 
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Ziltro wrote:
Blind obedience is a very bad thing.


Why does this come up in replies about the law so often? Why is it assumed that people who obey the law are doing so in some lesser thinking way :?
Obeying a traffic light isn't about 'blind obedience', its about recognising the net benefit to society of obeying the law.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 16:58 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Rigpig wrote:
smeggy wrote:
Therein is the problem. The law has been over used/abused such that many now make an informed decision to ignore it, doing so whilst remaining within the spirit of the law.


An informed decision eh? Makes it sound so much better than 'they just jumped the lights' which, informed or not, is what it boils down to.

Hmmm. To me, saying 'just jumped the lights' implies that the driver paid no heed to other road users nor checked that it was safe. But an 'informed' decision - i.e. checks were made to ensure that it was safe to proceed seems to be more the case in West Brom...


I saw someone do this. He carefully looked left, then carefully looked right... and ran smack into a car that had right of way! :o

And the person who clipped the pedestrian, he looked carefully, but he failed to spot the fact that the crossing was green for pedestrians...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:00 
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At most junctions in North America a red light means you may turn right if it is clear, having stopped first (thus acting rather like a STOP sign :P). Those where you can't are marked by 'No Right Turn on Red' signs.

Of course, if we adopted the system over here, it would have to be for a left turn :D


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:06 
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Rigpig wrote:
Well
a. They are still breaking the law
b. I have witnessed a good number not doing it that way at all. A car, at dusk the other evening, simply running straight through a red light at which I was waiting at more or less normal driving speed for that road. Another forced to abort a right turn because they had left it so late going through the red light that the oncoming car had started to move and was going to be covering their 'exit' if they had continued.

a) That is, of course, a bad thing because the law is meant to be about safety and consideration. When it ceases to be that, whilst regularly imposing needless restriction, then it becomes an ass.

b) I would say you are referring to a different kind of RL jumper. If you can see them doing it then they have failed in what should be their task of making sure no-one is around. It's only a matter of time before the police catch them.

Rigpig wrote:
The law doesn't encourage its own disobedience Smeggy, its the arrogance of people and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges bad behaviour these days that creates disobedience.

A law can encourage it’s own disobedience, but it isn’t the case here; the issue here is it’s overuse.

Flip side:
It’s the arrogance of authorities and their propensity to do what the hell they like because nobody ever challenges their self-interested behaviour these days that creates disobedience.

Rigpig wrote:
We can't go around changing or softening every law that people disobey just because it gives them the immediate convenience of, in this case, not having to wait.

We’re not talking about changing/softening laws are we; this one is fine as it is.
The problem is how it is needlessly overused. Roundabout everywhere are being converted to full-time traffic light controlled junctions (certainly in my area anyway). Part-time lights on busy roundabouts, during peak times, would have been the perfect compromise. Why do we have to needlessly suffer the other extreme, all the time?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 17:14 
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Thatsnews wrote:
I saw someone do this. He carefully looked left, then carefully looked right... and ran smack into a car that had right of way! :o

And the person who clipped the pedestrian, he looked carefully, but he failed to spot the fact that the crossing was green for pedestrians...

That makes you wonder how those people drive on tarmac not controlled by lights!

Those areas may have been real places where the lights are necessary, but those drivers may have had contempt for that law bred into them because of the needless overuse of these lights, then had become complacent (or they could have been simply idiots of course).

We need all road users to have respect for the law and its application. What we have now isn't even coming close - and it's getting worse.


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