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Pop-Up Severe Tire Damage Spikes for Red Light Runners

You don't look like you're in such a hurry now, Mr. Signals-Don't-Apply-To-Me.
  (+17, -7)(+17, -7)
(+17, -7)
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When the light turns red, severe tire damage spikes pop out of the outer edge of the crosswalk. Any car that enters the crosswalk after the light turns red, or whose rear tires enter the crosswalk, loses the tires. Cars already in the crosswalk or the intersection can exit safely, since severe tire damage spikes are one-way only. Ditto for anyone turning left or right.

This also prevents drivers from blocking the crosswalk because they're inching forward to anticipate the green light. Note that it also prevents turning right on red, but since I grew up in NYC (which doesn't have it), that's fine with me. This also obviates red-light cameras and their thorny legal questions. Bicyclists can ride between the individual spikes, so they are free to blithely continue breaking traffic laws.

Expect tire stores to proliferate on street corners.

ejs, May 23 2001


       Oh, that's fine if the road nut isn't afraid of a few spikes. As long as their cars skid to a halt on their rims before they hit the pedestrians in the crosswalk on the other side of the intersection.   

       We'll give emergency vehicles the transmitters from toomuchmike's retracting speed bumps. Buses still have to stop for red lights.
ejs, May 23 2001

       PeterSealy: the spikes would be more of a deterrent because while you won't always slam into another car while running a red light, you will be guaranteed to end up with flat tires with this scheme in place.   

       I like this idea. To improve upon it and possibly increase safety (for non red light runners) it should be combined with those catch hooks that stop jet fighters landing on aircraft carriers. Run the light, get your tires shredded while the hook latches onto the underside of your car and yanks you back out of the intersection.
PotatoStew, May 23 2001

       Immobile vehicles will be dragged out of the way by PotatoStew's hook, becoming no more of an obstacle than a double-parked delivery truck.   

       And James Bond will find a way to get through. He always does.
ejs, May 23 2001

       Little old lady crossing crosswalk on her walk signal. Spikes menacingly keeping stopped cars at bay. Young hooligan speeds by her on bike (supposed to walk your bike across the crosswalk, but this is a young hooligan...). Sends her spinning. Her legs get twisted under her. She falls, face-first, into your red light spikes. Lawyer on corner leaps to his feet. Fishbone gets the square.
globaltourniquet, May 23 2001

       globaltourniquet? You, of all people, not appreciating the nonseriousness of the idea behind the seriousness of the presentation? UnaBubba, I understand, but _you?_ I'm shocked... <getting back into character> She could just as easily have fallen under the wheels of traffic on the other side. And falling face-first onto asphalt is no picnic for an old lady either. Therefore, the spikes present no significant additional danger. Jagged metal spikes don't kill old ladies, young hooligans kill old ladies.   

       How about this modification: Instead of severe tire damage spikes, foot-thick metal walls ten feet high spring up at the red light. Anyone trying to run a red splatters against it, but pedestrians are kept safe. Bicyclists now have to maneuver across sidewalks to run red lights, bowling over old ladies by the dozen. Cars unfortunate to be caught over the metal walls when they deploy teeter comically on top of them until the light turns green and they are deposited on the street again.
ejs, May 23 2001

       Oh, you weren't serious about the spikes? Gosh, I'm so embarrassed.   

       A wall is very good. But it should come down from above, slowly, during the yellow light, like a werehouse freight elevetor door, so that people are given time to anticipate it. Or even just long arms like at railroad crossings. Yeah, that's a better idea. You can try to judge the height of the car vs. the level of the barrier at your point of intersection entry, but at your own risk. At the red light it comes down, on top of any vehicle that has misjudged it. That driver will never try that again.
globaltourniquet, May 23 2001

       Of course, the spikes / wall would have to be instantly defeatable by ambulances / fire trucks / what have you that need to (presumably safely) pass through red lights via some sort of remote control device, which device must be impossible to replicate by nefarious traffic regulations violaters...
snarfyguy, May 23 2001

       All of your polite ideas about spikes and walls sound so ... European. This is Amurrica, Land of the Gun; if they can make a camera that knows to snap when you run the light, they can make it shoot a gun instead. You run the light, you die. Simple. Once the intersections are armed with automatic weaponry we will all be safe from red-light runners, scofflaw bikers, and jaywalking little old ladies, too.
jurgen, May 23 2001

       How about this. When the light turns red, the entire intersection drops away to reveal a bubbling pit of hot lava. After enough time for red-light runners, left-turn makers, and green-light jumpers to sink screaming out of sight, the intersection reappears to allow the green-lighted cars to pass. No muss, fuss, or traffic jams. And you save the ammo for when the Gummint tries to take away our guns (which shouldn't be in the next 4 years).
ejs, May 24 2001

       waug, what about the little old ladies' pacemakers? (Damn little old ladies, ruining everyone's fun.)
ejs, May 24 2001

       the solution is simple   

       employ SCOTTISH old ladys to cross the road at the red light as they are hard as f**king nails (but dont let them hear bad words like that or they will beat the hell out of you) then they could solve the scrap car and cyclist/hooligan problem at once by tearing them all to shreds and throwing them into skips for recycling   

       PS note to all gun toting americans the grannies will catch the bullets the bullets in their teeth and spit them back at you
chud, May 24 2001

       What about emergency vehicles, James Bond, etc? Finally, an excuse to bake that Speed Racer jump-plate thing.
nick_n_uit, May 24 2001

       ...because it's always a good idea to reduce the driver's control of a speeding vehicle, especially when it's running a red.
bookworm, May 24 2001

       In Oxford and some other towns there are bus only areas protected by Sinking Bollard - foot thick steel post which recede intot he ground when a bus or emergency vehicle or taxi comes along, and then rise up again afterwards.   

       (One story tell of a BMW who tried followings a taxi through and got flipped on his roof when the post rose up again...)   

       I think this is really what your after, with a few modifications.
CasaLoco, Jun 13 2001

       What if the light in front of you turns yellow at just the right moment when you just barely have enough time to stop... and you have a semi behind you?
wisecrac99, Feb 24 2002

       Aww, dang. I thought I was original. I thought of this myself right around a year ago (I swear) and have been suggesting it to everybody ever since. I don't it needs to be installed in EVERY intersection, immediately, but we'll start with the worst ones. Police dispatch will be able to track emergency vehicles and "open up" intersections for them.   

       As for wisecrac99, asking what to do when the light turns yellow and you don't know if you can stop: Haven't you ever heard of a "stale green light"? When the light has been green for a long time and the crosswalks are displaying "don't walk", you should be slowing down anyway. You aren't even supposed to enter an intersection on yellow if you can avoid it.   

       I really don't think frequent accidents would be a problem. After a person learned his "red light lesson", I don't think he'd like to learn it again, do you? (Especially if he's a rice-boy with expensive aftermarket wheels.)   

       In cases where there was going to be an accident resulting from the red-light running anyway, the spikes will slow the offending driver, effectively reducing the severity of the collision.   

       I like the metal-walls idea too, but I think it sounds costlier to implement.
boingo82, Apr 12 2002

bristolz, Apr 12 2002

       Eh, rice-boy is a deragatory way of referring to all of the Hondas out there with the fart-pipes, stickers all over, (TOYO stickers no less) driven by a backwards-visor wearing punk who's spent $10,000 "modding" his car but still lives at home with his mommy. Called Rice-Boy because the cars are almost always Japanese. These kids usually (but not always) show blatant disregard for traffic laws in their constant attempts to impress everyone with the studliness of their automobiles.
boingo82, Apr 12 2002

       Oh.  I see.  Seems like not-so-good an expression, though.
bristolz, Apr 12 2002

       Probaby true, but I don't mean it in a bad way, unless said children are violating common-traffic-sense. I actually like seeing modded cars...but the point is that spikes will be a serious deterrent..and you can bet that if you weren't paying attention and just noticed the red light, realizing you're not going to make it...you're going to slam on those brakes before t-boning somebody. As opposed to now when many people gun the car through the intersection.
boingo82, Apr 12 2002

       Ahh Rice-Boy = Essex Boy/Man in UK
dare99, Apr 12 2002

       ahh i'd be screwed
joshkouri, Apr 29 2003

       Flocking car blocking road cones to the rescue.
WildWest, Jun 14 2004


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