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Unfair (and possibly dangerous) traffic light systems


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I may or may not be receiving an NIP in the post soon.

But I wish to vent my spleen somewhat over the circumstances of two incidents

within the last few days involving traffic lights.

 

The first was at a flyover with a roundabout underneath.

There were three sets of lights to pass through in order for me to proceed onto a slip road

where traffic merges from a 30 MPH zone to a 50 MPH portion of the motorway.

 

I passed through the first set of lights on green at 20-25 MPH.

The second set of lights changed to amber as I was crossing from one side of the road onto the slip road

only for me to be met by the red lights of a pedestrian crossing.

Which turned from amber to red at the same time as the second (previous) set of lights.

There was no delay between them.

There was a small space before the third set of lights for approximately one car length to stop.

 

 

Because I was in the process of accelerating onto the slip road I would have had to slam on the brakes

to avoid passing through the lights on red.

This seemed counter intuitive to what I would expect when driving onto a slip road.

 

 

Regardless of what the law says regarding driving through red lights.

I felt it was not a fair system and in fact dangerous.

 

 

I reported this to TFL on their website (without giving them my details of course).

 

I have been beating myself up about it since.

I am not sure if there were cameras there or not and it caused me considerable anxiety.

 

The second time was only yesterday.

There is a dual carriageway with a 40 MPH limit.

This particular set of lights is quite odious.

It has a red light camera (I assume) and speed camera lines on the junction.

It is a major road junction that allows turning of traffic onto a minor road.

 

 

I approached it with some trepidation wondering what the best plan of attack was.

Begin to slow in preparation for a red light or continue at just under 38 MPH.

 

 

I made the decision to continue at speed and that was when the lights turned amber.

I decided to continue at speed and accelerated ever so slightly.

I do not believe I broke the speed limit.

However I am unsure if I made it through in time for the light turning red.

 

From my understanding there is no requirement to slow down when approaching traffic lights

unless they have already begun changing to amber and you do not think you will be able to cross the junction in time.

But I may need my mind refreshing on if the highway code says otherwise.

Especially since this was a dual carriageway with a 'continuous' 40 MPH limit.

 

 

Because this is faster than 30 MPH it requires more stopping distance and this concerns me.

Especially since they appear to have placed a speed trap on the junction as well.

If you are getting close to the lights at speed (remember I have not broken the speed limit)

then it leaves you very little room to stop without slamming on the brakes.

 

 

But if you are pushed to accelerate through the lights at amber

this could place you at risk of being snapped on a speeding charge

or possibly being hit on both a red light and a speeding charge.

The whole thing appears a bit catch 22 and very suspect IMHO.

 

 

I have been VERY aware of my driving with regards to traffic lights of late

and every time I approach a set I get more cautious and 'driven' to distraction

with regards to how they operate and how I should deal with them.

 

I have been driving for over 30 years now and it's only in the last few years I have noticed these issues.

I never used to have issue with passing through lights

but in recent times it appears the odds are being ever more stacked against drivers

to be pushed into 'breaking the law' so to speak.

 

 

Despite what they keep telling us about it being in order to make things safer for both drivers and pedestrians.

The odds are you will make that 'mistake' sooner or later.

 

To me it smacks of both incompetence and a cash grab.

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I too have been driving for a long time

Sounds to me like you have picked up some bad habits as I do not have that problem

 

You may need to change your driving style

Speed limits are maximum speed in ideal conditions

So of you are approaching traffic lights or any type of hazard common sence would say to ease off

Speed

 

Not the response you are after I am sure

I am ready for the :fencing::fencing::fencing::fencing:

If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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An amber light means stop unless it is unsafe to do so. You should be able to anticipate better, ask yourself on the approach how long have the lights been on green? if they have been on green a while then they are more likely to change.

Look if there is traffic waiting at other traffic lights, if so are their lights about to go green? Yours will then obviously change.

Dont let the parasite dca's prosper

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You may be right there. I am getting older now and also have been under considerable stress in recent times. I had a feeling that might affect my driving ability so just did some Googling.

 

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Stress-Anxiety-Impair-Driving-Skills-143554.shtml

 

Seems pretty obvious to me. I guess I need to avoid driving when I am particularly stressed if I can and drive along at more sedate speeds. Drivers in a rush behind me be damned.

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There were three sets of lights to pass through in order for me to proceed onto a slip road

where traffic merges from a 30 MPH zone to a 50 MPH portion of the motorway.

 

There is a dual carriageway with a 40 MPH limit.

 

You may be right there. I am getting older now and also have been under considerable stress in recent times. I had a feeling that might affect my driving ability so just did some Googling.

 

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Stress-Anxiety-Impair-Driving-Skills-143554.shtml

 

Seems pretty obvious to me. I guess I need to avoid driving when I am particularly stressed if I can and drive along at more sedate speeds. Drivers in a rush behind me be damned.

 

Good news! for both the examples you have stated you could just stay in lane 1, and if other drivers wish to overtake they could use the outside lanes!.

 

Don't forget, the speed limit is a limit, not a target ......

 

"Drivers in a rush' should be using the outside lane, and you aren't responsible for their driving if they wish to speed.

 

I'm not advocating driving at 20 mph on a 40 mph dual carriageway, or 40 mph on a motorway (barring road conditions making those lower speeds appropriate), but just because others drive too fast doesn't mean you have to ....

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Advanced driver training mentions something talked about above.

 

Anticipating the lights themselves if when you see a light for the first time it is green then expect it to change and be ready to stop if it does.

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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