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April 06, 2009

Just stop at the light

Cliff Dunn (3/29, Letters) and Paul Smith (4/2, Voices) think it’s a wonderful idea to have “stale” green lights flash before turning to yellow and finally to red. This idea is absurd, as it’s only doing more to help out those who flout public safety laws for their own self-interests.

Between the light changing to yellow through the “double red” (where both lanes have red lights) you have, on average, about five seconds to stop. A car traveling at 45 miles an hour — about the highest speed you’ll see in town — traverses 330 feet in this time, well within the braking distance of any car on the road. You’ve all the time you need to stop.

People are ignoring the lights or just plain not paying attention. Hang up the phone, put down the makeup or the Big Mac, look five seconds down the road, cover the brake, and stop.
Brian Straight



I say do away with all traffic laws and lights. We would conserve on energy and allow for choice in driving.
The majority of people think they can violate traffic laws and are entitled to drive as wreckless as they elect to.


I don't follow Brian's reasoning. Once the light goes yellow you either have to get stopped or enter the intersection by the time it turns red. The length of time the lights may be "double red" has no effect on this.

Keith Williams3

Leave things the way they are; sometimes change is not good!!


Good points. If you're inclined to push the limit and hit the gas on yellow, another warning signal will most likely mean that you'll just push that limit as well.

Still, I'd like to see cities drop the whole "it's about safety" crap when it comes to red light cameras and admit it's about revenue. Their policies acknowledge this (it's a civil offense and not a criminal one, thus skirting public outrage and the rules of evidence applicable in criminal cases), yet they continue to try and sell their "safety" line. Sadly, it seems to be working.

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