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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went out with a couple of my lunch buddies.
I'm behind a bunch of cars lined up to turn left. Light turns green, but because of latency, inefficiency, inattention, whatever, only 4 or 5 cars make it. We have to wait for another cycle.
I told my buddies that I thought they should put a counter on a red light, indicating how many seconds left until it goes green. That way, people can put down their makeups, cell phones, what have them, and get ready. More cars would go through in the same cycle period, increasing efficiency.
To my surprise, both my buddies were extremely against the idea, saying that it would cause more harm than good. But I didn't find any of their arguments strong enought...
What do you think?
 

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doh!!!
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maybe people should just pay attention when they drive. not that hard for me. You suggestion seems to encourage bad behavior :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Jeff_DML said:
maybe people should just pay attention when they drive. not that hard for me. You suggestion seems to encourage bad behavior :dunno:
Sure, everybody should pay attention.
Given the reality, what's a simple and cost effect thing we can do to improve it? Controlling every traffic intersection via computers and sensors that adjust the cycle dynamically according to traffic volume is way better, but it costs a lot.
Even if I watch the red light attentively, it takes me about 2 seconds to shift into 1st and launch my car smoothly from start. That's about 2 extra cars that could have gone through...
Bad behavior? How's so?
 

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I see nothing wrong with the idea. It really gripes me when people don't pay attention and not many cars make it through the light. :mad:
 

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doh!!!
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JetBlack330i said:
Sure, everybody should pay attention.
Given the reality, what's a simple and cost effect thing we can do to improve it? Controlling every traffic intersection via computers and sensors that adjust the cycle dynamically according to traffic volume is way better, but it costs a lot.
Even if I watch the red light attentively, it takes me about 2 seconds to shift into 1st and launch my car smoothly from start. That's about 2 extra cars that could have gone through...
Bad behavior? How's so?
"Hey I got 10 more seconds to chit chat"
:D
 

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I don't see why we don't have lights that work like most places in the world...Prior to the gree coming on, the yellow light comes on to let you know the changes is coming. No need for a counter.
 

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M Mad
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Yeap, just like a drag strip tree. :)

I have seen what happens in countries with the yellow before green or countdown timer. People go on green or before the green without checking to see if everybody else is actually stopping. Some GREAT crashes.

And what makes you think that people in the US would pay any more attention? Remember the first guy doesn't care, because he is going to get through, and the heck with the rest of you. Followed by the second person, with the same attitude, etc, etc.
 

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I agree with your buddies. People would treat it like a drag strip tree and it would probably cause more accidents AND increase the time between the other lights turning red and the left turn arrow turning green.

What you really want is a slightly increased time between sensor readings (say an additional second or two) to keep the light green when inattentive drivers don't get moving quickly enough. Not only do you probably get a better result, the change could be made at next to 0 cost.
 

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I do'nt make mistakes.
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JetBlack330i said:
I went out with a couple of my lunch buddies.
I'm behind a bunch of cars lined up to turn left. Light turns green, but because of latency, inefficiency, inattention, whatever, only 4 or 5 cars make it. We have to wait for another cycle.
Based on my drive home, the bigger problem is not the reaction time of the first driver, but the wait for the cross traffic to finish its left on red. Today, I hit the horn shortly after the left turn arrow (having already sat through a couple of cycles of the light), and two cars (cross traffic) finished their left turns after that point. No wonder our lane was only getting three cars per light.
 

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I could swear I've seen a system like that somewhere, a European country I'm pretty sure. Before the light turned green the yellow light would come on in addition to the red letting you know that it was about to change. It was to let people know to start their cars back up becuase they encouraged (or required) you to shut off the engine at lights to reduce smog/fuel consuption that little fraction...
 

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There are enough people getting hit in the intersections from cross-traffic here in Colorado Springs without people jumping the gun on a green light.
 

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We have the countdown timers on some of the lights here in downtown Santa Monica. They are on the crosswalk signals and start when the hand for "Do not walk" starts up. They're primarily meant for pedestrians but I think they are a great idea. I will generally check the crosswlk indicator while coming up to an intersection and if I see a walk sign I know I've got plenty of time, if I see a flashing "do not walk" sign I know that I may not have much time depending on how poorly the light was set up, and if I see a solid "do not walk" I know that the light is about change. This holds for many lights in LA and is extremely helpful especially given the penchant this county has for setting up red light cameras and then shortening the yellow light time. This is actually a piece of useful information counter to all of the other crap thrown at us while we're driving.

As to the yellow-before-the-green that is common in Europe - it's a nice idea that I think is less helpful overall than the timer idea. Everywhere I have been where this system is in place (UK, France, Italy, Czech. Rp., Hungary, and Germany) I have seen that people do tend to "jump" the light a little which can be dangerous - especially if someone coming the other direction thinks they can just make it.
 

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The combination of a countdown, and people's tendency to run deep yellows and reds is a deadly one. If red-light-running wasn't such a problem in this country, it might not be so bad.
 

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Kaz said:
The combination of a countdown, and people's tendency to run deep yellows and reds is a deadly one. If red-light-running wasn't such a problem in this country, it might not be so bad.
:stupid: Yesterday I was heading up to an intersection to make a right turn. This intersection is rather busy during rush hour. As I approached the intersection, people in my direction had the red light and a protected left turn arrow was green for oncoming traffic. When I was about to come to a stop, our light turned green, and I see like 6 or 7 more cars ENTER the intersection to make that left AFTER the protected turn arrow turned red. :mad: :loco: These people are getting more and more ballsy. It's nuts.
 

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I've always liked toying with the idea of implementing better mass transit, making it easier to lose one's license and harder to get it in the first place.

On topic, though, I'd be willing to bet that the number of t-bones such a red-yellow-go system would create in this drag-race-loving country would force the yellow warning light to turn on at about the same time the green light goes on presently.

Off-topic again, when I was driving around British Columbia, their blinking yellow stoplight ahead warning signs would only light up when it would be red when you got there; if the warning light wasn't blinking, you knew you could make the light. Do any of the States do that? I haven't seen it, but it was great while I was up there.
 

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doeboy said:
:stupid: Yesterday I was heading up to an intersection to make a right turn. This intersection is rather busy during rush hour. As I approached the intersection, people in my direction had the red light and a protected left turn arrow was green for oncoming traffic. When I was about to come to a stop, our light turned green, and I see like 6 or 7 more cars ENTER the intersection to make that left AFTER the protected turn arrow turned red. :mad: :loco: These people are getting more and more ballsy. It's nuts.
I try to always do my part to discourage that behavior. It's amazing how much you can scare a red light runner by lurching forward a few feet and laying on the horn. At the least it should make them think twice before running a red again...
 

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Desertnate said:
I don't see why we don't have lights that work like most places in the world...Prior to the gree coming on, the yellow light comes on to let you know the changes is coming. No need for a counter.
^
Exactly.

-j
 

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Tangent said:
I try to always do my part to discourage that behavior. It's amazing how much you can scare a red light runner by lurching forward a few feet and laying on the horn. At the least it should make them think twice before running a red again...
I agree. Sometimes I do that and especially with a lady passenger (better if she's the wife) in the car, you'll see her covering her face with both hands and screaming like it's the end of the world (or her life). After that, you can pretty much guess what's going to happen to him (the driver).
 

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mkh said:
I agree. Sometimes I do that and especially with a lady passenger (better if she's the wife) in the car, you'll see her covering her face with both hands and screaming like it's the end of the world (or her life). After that, you can pretty much guess what's going to happen to him (the driver).
Any combination of the following:
Her / Him
:spank:
:throw:
:slap:

:D
 

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I think the OP is a great idea. I've thought of the exact same thing before after waiting for the first car to go on green. It really sucks if you're in a left hand lane and you're the 5th or 6th car.

The only mod I would make is that the timer count down until say 5 seconds or so, then give no more indication. This would discourage drag-racing timed starts.
 
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