Vehicle: Road: Highway
Safe Brake Lights   (+14)  [vote for, against]
Space the street lights...

Safe breaking distances: tough to remember but vital that you do. For set road speeds, they indicate the space you need between you and the car in front to make sure that you can stop in time.

Street lights are... ah come now, you don't need me to explain.

So, combine these two ideas dear reader, making it easier for drivers to recognise the distance they need to leave and, of course, light the road correctly.

These street lights are spaced in such a way to ensure that a 2 light space is *always* the safe breaking distance for the designated speed limit for that road: closer spaced on residential road, longer spaced on motorways/freeways.

Drivers always know that they need to leave 2 lights space.
-- jonthegeologist, May 27 2012

Scrolling_20roadside_20illumination A not totally dissimilar idea [hippo, May 27 2012]

Grandma's favorite motorcycle joke
Blame it on [Alterother]... [normzone, May 28 2012]

-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 27 2012

When I read the title I immediately thought the light would be built into the front of the vehicle, and tilt-up the faster you're travelling... but I like the idea of building a road to suit its conditions... It'll stop idiot road designers and building roads capable of 70 MPH, and labeling them 40 MPH (like the start of the A20)
-- Dub, May 27 2012

Excellent idea, and lovely to see you back here.
-- hippo, May 27 2012

Yes, what [hippo] said.
-- blissmiss, May 27 2012

Needs a better title, but I see the value in this. I, myself, always practice and test myself to use a safe following distance by approximating two seconds before my car reaches a shadow or other marking that the car in front of me just passed. It's cheaper to do, but I realize money is no object at the halfbakery.
-- XSarenkaX, May 27 2012

? Space Lights ?
-- blissmiss, May 27 2012

And you don't need to remember the safe braking distances in feets, or convert feets to meters. [+]
-- Inyuki, May 27 2012

Are the lights set on rails so they can move further apart when it's raining?
-- Alterother, May 28 2012

2 seconds dry, 4 seconds wet... unless they changed the world while I was out.
-- UnaBubba, May 28 2012

Double the number of lights space you leave in the wet...
-- jonthegeologist, May 28 2012

// You'd have to constantly be moving these lights around, meaning your idea needs a way to address that. //

Flocking street lamps ?
-- 8th of 7, May 28 2012

I can't say this has ever really been a problem for me. I always use a time-based limit; a method exactly like that of XSarenkaX, although with a following time of three seconds.

This, however, is a brilliant idea, although flocking capabilities will be required for different conditions. Might I recommend placing light poles a series of holes along the roadside, each containing coilguns that will eject light poles on a trajectory such that they will land in other holes with the appropriate spacing?
-- Hive_Mind, May 28 2012

I guess I never realized other people had to put so much thought into braking distance*. I remember something about the spacing of telephone poles from when I was just learning to drive, but since then I've always just used my intuitive judgement about when to apply the brakes.

* This coupon may be redeemed for one (1) free motorcycle-crash joke. I know it's coming, so make it a good one.
-- Alterother, May 28 2012

Good idea but still leaves the driver the choice; a system of sensor-operated adjustable speed bumps which are raised and lowered according to the speed of the approaching motorist would remind them by variable levels of road rumble that they're over the sensible limit.
-- Phrontistery, May 28 2012

What we really need is a sheep proximity sensor.
-- UnaBubba, May 29 2012

-- AusCan531, May 29 2012

Is that all?
-- UnaBubba, May 29 2012

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora!
-- UnaBubba, May 29 2012

//Is that all?//

Sheep don't arouse me is all.
-- AusCan531, May 29 2012

So, only 8". Is that arousal, or just happiness I'm home?
-- UnaBubba, May 29 2012

Isn't the problem already solved with less expense with those painted chevrons you get on the road? Just need to paint them everywhere...

Paint the odd one blue to make motorways look like a Wipeout track.
-- theleopard, May 29 2012

In Chicago, they drive with the theory that if you can't tell what color the driver's eyes are in front of you, then you're not close enough.
-- RayfordSteele, May 29 2012

random, halfbakery