Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Yellow-light Length Signs

No more guessing if you can make it before it turns red.
  [vote for,

Very simple actually, I'm surprised I haven't seen this in use.

Ok, you know those signs that have a picture of a traffic light to tell you there's a light around the corner? Well, this idea calls for those signs to have a number on them as well, a number which tells you exactly how many seconds the light stays yellow. I would also like to have these signs placed at all traffic lights.

21 Quest, Mar 06 2006

NJ Statutes http://lis.njleg.st...page=TOC_Frame_Pg42
Enjoy 'em. [jmvw, Oct 30 2006]

California http://www.dmv.ca.g...top/d11/vc21452.htm
this is the one normzone is talking about [jmvw, Oct 30 2006]


       Then certain cities couldn't change the length of the yellow light to generate citation revenue. Generally the length of the yellow light is 4 seconds but uncouth lights are set to 3 seconds.
bristolz, Mar 06 2006

       perhaps a replaceable transparent number on there then? (like on gas station price boards)
gizmosteve, Mar 06 2006

       How about doing what many pedestrian lights now do, and have a count-down by (on?) the yellow light? That way you'll keep bristolz's local taxes low.
DrCurry, Mar 06 2006

       My suggestion would be to precede the yellow duration by an equal green+yellow duration.
supercat, Mar 07 2006

       Is this to encourage law breaking? Or unsafe driving? If the light turns yellow and you can safely stop before entering the intersection, you must legally stop. Otherwise you should maintain your speed.
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 07 2006

       I have seen yellow lights that flash a few times before becoming solid yellow. Maybe in Denmark.
bristolz, Mar 07 2006

       This is not to encourage law breaking, just the opposite. Here in Daytona Beach, the yellow-lengths range anywhere from 3 seconds to 6, so a lot of drivers end up having to choose between running a red light or standing on brakes if they maintain their speed thinking it's a 6-second light and suddenly having it turn red in 3 or 4.
21 Quest, Mar 07 2006

       '6' what an eternity!
daseva, Oct 28 2006

       21 Quest, this is your grandfather. Listen, Caeli is right. Allow me to rephrase it. A yellow light (orange really) means stop. The purpose of the yellow between green and red is so people don't slam on their brakes when the light changes and get rear ended or come to a skidding stop in the middle of the intersection. If you're further then 50 or 100 feet or so away when the light turns yellow, you probably have a chance to stop and you're should.

       Your yellow light signs would be a government sactioned encouragement to drive through the yellow light as late as you possibly can. Not a good idea.
jmvw, Oct 29 2006

       Boys, I don't know where you live, but in the People's Republic of California it goes like this.

       California Vehicle Code section 21452(a) indicates that the significance of a yellow light is merely to warn that a red light will follow. Nowhere does it say that you cannot enter an interesection.

       Provided that the front of the vehicle has entered the intersection before the light turned red, one has not broken the law at all. There is no reason to speed up, because your only concern (besides safety) should be that you were legally entering the intersection (which you can do on a yellow).

       This is the same reason that cars turning left—but unable to, due to oncoming traffic—are allowed to remain in the intersection so they can turn even though their light turns red.

       So feel proud to enter an intersection on a yellow.
normzone, Oct 29 2006

       I was never taught in driver's ed anything about having to stop on a yellow. In fact, in heavy traffic, it's beneficial to get as many people through the light as possible before it turns red so you don't have ridiculously long lines at the red light, lines which block driveways and hold up other intersections.
21 Quest, Oct 29 2006

       [normzone] Could it really be that yellow light law is different across the US? I was taught to stop in Holland, but New Jersey Title 39:4-105 also says this:

       "Amber, or yellow, when shown alone following green means traffic to stop before entering the intersection or nearest crosswalk, unless when the amber appears the vehicle or street car is so close to the intersection that with suitable brakes it cannot be stopped in safety. A distance of fifty feet from the intersection is considered a safe stopping distance for a speed of twenty miles per hour, and vehicles and street cars if within that distance when the amber appears alone, and which cannot be stopped with safety, may proceed across the intersection or make a right or left turn unless the turning movement is specifically limited."

       I'm in favor of stopping.
jmvw, Oct 30 2006

       //in heavy traffic, it's beneficial to get as many people through the light as possible before it turns red// So you are the ass that gets stuck in the middle of the intersection blocking the entire intended process of stop and go? Keep jamming them in...great idea.
Chefboyrbored, Oct 30 2006

       //in heavy traffic, it's beneficial to get as many people through the light as possible before it turns red// So you are the ass that gets stuck in the middle of the intersection blocking the entire intended process of stop and go? Keep jamming them in...great idea.//

       The purpose of traffic lights is to maximize throughput at an intersection. I don't think a traffic signal is apt to be safer than a 4-way stop, but the throughput will be loads better.

       If the traffic in one direction has completely subsided before the light in the other direction turns green, any time between the subsidence and the green light is wasted. Someone who enters an intersection just after his light turns red may cost the motorists in the other direction a half-second of wasted time (bearing in mind that a person who enters just before red will be much of the way through the intersection by the time the opposing signal turns green) but will save the people behind him a second or so.

       In some cases, the lost time for the cross traffic exceeds the saved time for the people behind, especially in cases where someone making a left turn waits until he is sure of another motorist's intentions, but generally optimal efficiency occurs when motorists are just clearing an intersection as the opposing light turns green.
supercat, Oct 30 2006

       I posted a new topic about just this very thing, not realizing that it had already been posted. I am also a CA resident, a truck driver with nearly 1,000,000 safe miles. If you can more accurately judge your distance vs. the light change, it would make a safer environment for motorists. This is not to encourage red-light-running, but to give drivers the information they need to make the correct decision about whether to brake or not. It isn't necessarily so much about the distance alone from the intersection. Some vehicles, such as heavy trucks which weigh as much as 80,000 lbs, need a much longer stopping distance. Your car may be lighter than the one behind you, and easier to stop. It just makes sense to provide the information to drivers. The technology is there and we live in a much more congested and fast-paced world. It would benefit everyone.
semisweet, Aug 13 2007

       I remember reading about some town that got sued because they set the yellow light too short. The was a certain distance at which, if they saw the yellow light, they couldn't stop because they were too close to the intersection to do so, but if they tried to run the intersection before it turned red, they couldn't make it and would always run the light.
5th Earth, Aug 13 2007


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