Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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'At the Light' Sensor Light

so you know that it knows you're there
  (+13, -1)(+13, -1)
(+13, -1)
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I've ran red lights while sitting at an intersection, thinking that the traffic light is malfunctioning. So, my suggestion is to add a smaller light underneath the body of the traffic light, and to have it illuminate whenever it detects a vehicle.
ghillie, Oct 20 2004

Crosswalk Countdown Signal http://www.cambridg...ects/countdown.html
The kind of signal [Face] describes below, as used in Massachussetts. [jurist, Oct 25 2004]

Attica Signal http://signalfan.fr...storical/attica.htm
The Attica signal was in use in Harrisburg, PA circa 1924. It featured 10 small lights in 2 rows which indicated the "staleness" of the light and how soon it would change. [jurist, Oct 25 2004]


       A lot of traffic-related ideas from me lately, huh? :)
ghillie, Oct 20 2004

       I like this idea and I hate it. I like it because I always enjoy having my presence acknowledged. It makes me feel significant. But I hate the idea because it could also be used for evil, not just good.
For example, drivers in a hurry could be so intent on stomping on the gas pedal the instant they get green that they forget to check both directions before entering the intersection and KABLOOIE! they get flattened by a Greyhound bus that came through its very stale yellow light.
Canuck, Oct 20 2004

       It's a bit like the little led's in IR burglar alarms that light up when the sensor sees you. Many fun hours can be spent trying to cross the room without being spotted.
wagster, Oct 20 2004

       I think you need to rephrase this. It doesn't make sense as written.
waugsqueke, Oct 20 2004

       "Thank you for using this intersection. Unfortunately, all our green lights are busy right now. Your presence has been placed in a queue, and will be dealt with as soon as possible. Your manouevre is important to us."
egbert, Oct 20 2004

       Brau: Motorcyclists were one of the inspirations for this idea. That and a slow light.

jutta: Thanks. *fixes*

waugs: blame it on the homeschooling. That and it being midnight when I wrote it. I found out that my English goes screwy when I'm typing, listening to music, chatting with friends, and watching tv. :)
ghillie, Oct 20 2004

       If the "light beneath" isn't on, how would you know if it's burnt out?
Amos Kito, Oct 20 2004

       That gives me an idea. Wait no it doesn't. Good one, ghillie.
yabba do yabba dabba, Oct 20 2004

       How about just a string of LEDs below the main signal light that tick off as the light is going to change - a countdown timer - something to help you judge how long (or short) you are going to wait for the light to change.
trekbody, Oct 20 2004

       As far as i know right now most lights don't have sensors that check the presence of waiting vehicles. At least by me the lights are timed, and putting sensors in would throw off the whole system that all allows people to drive down the major roads further without hitting lights at every block.

But if the lights already have sensors than there's no reason not to have this, if only to make people feel special that their presence has been acknowledged by the light.
brodie, Oct 20 2004

       Some do, some don't, but here in the UK, the majority don't. I suspect traffic would move better if they did.
wagster, Oct 20 2004

       I don't think so [wags] -- the sensors would only be good in places where you will sit a red light and not see anyone go by-- otherwise the person waiting will get to go, but anyone driving will have to stop.
For any sensors to work well they would need to take into account anyone driving down the road towards the green light.
brodie, Oct 20 2004

       //If the "light beneath" isn't on, how would you know if it's burnt out?// There could be an even smaller light under this light that will indicate that this light is functional.
Worldgineer, Oct 20 2004

       [brodie] - You are of course quite correct. Sensors are no help in heavy traffic (ie within the UK). Sensors that can sense tailbacks and traffic density would be more useful. <Lifts head, sniffs. "I smell idea dough rising...">
wagster, Oct 20 2004

       ...or when the light "pops" as it burns out, this could cause a little red flag to appear.
lintkeeper2, Oct 21 2004

       can you make sure there's a light for pedestrians too ? it's annoying having to listen. And for bonus points, why bother with a button to indicate you want to cross ? surely a narrow beam of IR to automatically detect my presence too.
neilp, Oct 21 2004

       "OK, children, whose turn is it to...er...break the IR beam?"
Doesn't work quite as well, Neilp.
egbert, Oct 21 2004

       You could replace them all with one light source that slowly changes from red to orange, to yellow and then green.
FarmerJohn, Oct 21 2004

       Or get monkeys to sit up there and hold a torch behind each, a la Flintstones.
lintkeeper2, Oct 21 2004

       Count down timers with digital displays in red and green are all the rage in Thailand. Also is jumping the green light, and accelerating like hell to beat the red light.
Ling, Oct 24 2004

       On the subject of pedestrians, in some places in Los Angeles (and I think I've seen the elsewhere as well), there is a little coundown (12...11...10...) next ot the little walk sign, telling you how much time is left before the light changes.
Face, Oct 25 2004

[FarmerJohn] I was just thinking what a damn fine idea that is and then I remembered my color blind stepfather. I can almost hear the brakes squealing.

       In the UK a lot of the lights are timer controlled for the majority of the day but switch to sensor controlled operation during low traffic periods (e.g. the wee small hours) They also use the sensors buried in the roadway to monitor traffic volumes in some junctions.
oneoffdave, Oct 25 2004

       Having a light to acknowledge that your vehicle has been detected is a good idea. Bicycles and motorcycles sometimes just won't trip one of those magnetic induction detectors. If you know you are not detected you can lay the bike down or do something to trip the sensor. I hate going through a light even if it is perfectly safe because it's easy revenue for the police.
hangingchad, Mar 02 2008


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