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Old 11-26-13, 11:37 AM   #1
jyl
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Red Light Triggered By Speeders

Here is an article about a red light that is triggered by cars driving above the speed limit, with a big sign warning "SPEEDING TRIGGERS RED LIGHT".

http://articles.philly.com/2013-11-2...-limit-sensors

I haven't seen anything like this in my area. I wonder how well it will work to slow down traffic. I also wonder if it will need to be combined with a red light ticket camera.

Thoughts, experiences?
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Old 11-26-13, 11:52 AM   #2
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No experience with this.

There is one road locally that I learned that driving the speed limit allowed a green light all the way through. Drive too slowly, you get stopped, too fast and you catch up to red lights. The speed limit is 40 mph (IIRC) and if you drive 38-40, you'll catch a green light all the way into town.
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Old 11-26-13, 11:57 AM   #3
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Drove through some of these in VA a long time again. The problem with them is that not everyone plays by the rules and the car running up on your ass triggers the red light for you. Some people just did not get it.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:23 PM   #4
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Perhaps there is a camera associated or bound to come into service when motorists fail to modify their behaviors? In my small town filled area a simple radar sign or trailer in strategic spots is normally enough to dissuade speeding as motorists have come to also expect them to be a part of enforcement campaigns whether law enforcement is about or not.

What is clear to me is that speeding and inattentive driving cause accidents posing tremendous peril to all who use the intersection, which is obvious but the threat level is not high enough to demand patrols yet.

Such a setup probably isn't too far from the traffic flow loops found in average intersections or on ramps for flow control outbound onto the highway and no doubt you have such controls present along Interstates 84 and 5.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:25 PM   #5
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How about a warning light nd buzzer inside a car like the seatbelt warning alarm? Could easily be updated by roadside transmitters.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:59 PM   #6
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Sounds good to me.

I've actually thought that it would be interesting to have one of those "severe tire damage" things that deploys when someone approaches going significantly over the speed limit and takes out all their tires. Blowing $500 and being stranded until a flatbed comes might wake some people up.

FenderTL5: Telegraph Rd in the Detroit area is like this. The speed limit is 45. If you go about 47 MPH, you can go about 20 miles all the way through several suburbs without stopping, with lights every 1/4 mile. Of course, there is the occasional moron that speeds ahead and gets stopped by the light, then you have to slow down to avoid hitting him when he hasn't taken off from the light yet. The fast driver slows everyone down.
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Old 11-26-13, 01:14 PM   #7
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With many (most?) states not allowing for speeding tickets for speeds below the 85th percentile speed, this is a brilliant approach to bringing the speeds down. Since enforcing speed limits requires a current traffic speed survey and current calibration of the radar/lidar gun, using traffic lights is the only option left. Fortunately, there is no law that prohibits citing red light runners if the majority choose to run the lights (yet). Chapeau to the people responsible for this.

Portland, OR has done something related. On a stretch of road near downtown, they reprogrammed a sequence of lights to facilitate 15 mph travelers at the expense of those at or above the speed limit. Years ago, Corvallis, OR had its lights on hwy 99W through town set to give a series of green lights if you stayed below 20 mph. I was fascinated by all the motorists who failed to figure this out and raced from red light to red light. (I don't know if those lights are still set that way.)
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Old 11-26-13, 02:19 PM   #8
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Unless this is down a significant incline, 35mph is far faster than I usually ride, so I'm not sure this will really slow me down at all.
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Old 11-26-13, 02:42 PM   #9
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I forget where it was, but someplace I visited seemed to have this installed. But there were no signs. I think it would be a good idea instead of the system they have around here, which is if you go the speed limit you hit every red light. When i commuted by car, I would almost always hit 8-9 red lights out of the 11 on the route. There are a couple you can catch if you go 20 mph over the speed limit. Very annoying to see the scofflaws get away with that when the law abiding are punished. There was a stretch in Dayton OH that you could hit every light green if you went 5mph over. I thought that was a good idea, that was a moderate speed even though speeding.
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Old 11-26-13, 03:06 PM   #10
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Around here most drive 10-15 mph over the posted limits. I really don't have a problem with that as far as its effect on my cycling. The large majority of posted limits are too low, IMO.
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Old 11-26-13, 03:16 PM   #11
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Assuming it works it's a great concept. Rather than through enforcement it addresses the speeding straight on by eliminating the reason to do so.

NYC has controlled speeds on the one-way avenues for decades through timed lights, and that's worked well. Speed and separation on our subways have also been managed through a signal system that allows closing the gap to a switch or train ahead only at low speeds, while allowing greater speeds when the way is clear.

I hope this works in Phila, and that other areas take note.
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Old 11-26-13, 04:37 PM   #12
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Assuming it works it's a great concept. Rather than through enforcement it addresses the speeding straight on by eliminating the reason to do so.

NYC has controlled speeds on the one-way avenues for decades through timed lights, and that's worked well. Speed and separation on our subways have also been managed through a signal system that allows closing the gap to a switch or train ahead only at low speeds, while allowing greater speeds when the way is clear.

I hope this works in Phila, and that other areas take note.
A relative of mine, just got a speeding ticket for going 5-10MPH over the speed limit.......AND COMPLAINED ABOUT IT!!!!!! Instead of thinking of driving slower!!!
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Old 11-26-13, 04:38 PM   #13
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Around here most drive 10-15 mph over the posted limits. I really don't have a problem with that as far as its effect on my cycling. The large majority of posted limits are too low, IMO.
Define 'too low'?
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Old 11-26-13, 04:42 PM   #14
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Define 'too low'?
Not fast enough to satisfy the guy behind the wheel...

The fact is far too many motorists feel they are the only person on the road and fail to take into account the needs of others that may need to enter a road, or slow down to turn or for peds to cross a road... all those maneuvers require that there be a suitable amount of time to accomplish the task before traffic overtakes someone.

That means slow down... so others can use the road too.
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Old 11-26-13, 04:43 PM   #15
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A relative of mine, just got a speeding ticket for going 5-10MPH over the speed limit.......AND COMPLAINED ABOUT IT!!!!!! Instead of thinking of driving slower!!!
I only get tickets for 5-10 over the limit when I'm actually going faster, so don't have a reason to complain. However, if I were actually going only slightly over the limit and it drew a ticket I wouldn't be happy about it at all. OTOH- I never gripe to the cops, these are handled much more effectively by friendly negotiation in the hallway, on the day of the trial.
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Old 11-26-13, 05:03 PM   #16
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I only get tickets for 5-10 over the limit when I'm actually going faster, so don't have a reason to complain. However, if I were actually going only slightly over the limit and it drew a ticket I wouldn't be happy about it at all. OTOH- I never gripe to the cops, these are handled much more effectively by friendly negotiation in the hallway, on the day of the trial.
My point is the cavalier thinking. It would be like me casually running a red light, but expecting the cross traffic to have no problem with it.
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Old 11-26-13, 05:06 PM   #17
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Not fast enough to satisfy the guy behind the wheel...

The fact is far too many motorists feel they are the only person on the road and fail to take into account the needs of others that may need to enter a road, or slow down to turn or for peds to cross a road... all those maneuvers require that there be a suitable amount of time to accomplish the task before traffic overtakes someone.

That means slow down... so others can use the road too.
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Old 11-26-13, 05:42 PM   #18
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My hometown outside Atlanta put several of these around the town. People tend to ignore them just like speed signs.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:37 AM   #19
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Define 'too low'?
Slower than I feel is a reasonable speed to drive for the conditions. Seems most around here agree as the large majority routinely exceed the posted limits.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:46 AM   #20
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I'm very curious about how this will work in practice. The idea is fine, and the theory that drivers figure out that there's nothing to be gained by speeding. I forget exactly where in NJ I saw it, but in an area of rolling hills there was a sign that said something to the effect of "red light ahead if flashing" giving early warning of a traffic signal beyond the next hill.

So while this will remove any benefit from speeding, I'm not sure how drivers will adjust. Where I live, I see people accelerate hard from intersections, and hard braking 100yds down the road. They do this with full knowledge that there's a red light ahead. The concept of taking the foot off the gas and coasting to a stoplight seems totally foreign to most non-bicyclists. So I wouldn't be surprised if many will continue to speed, then waiting longer at the light.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:58 PM   #21
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DSCF1015 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

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DSCF1016 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

City block flash


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Camera with two lenses (stills and video?)


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Radar (on it's own pole)

All these devices are wired. Yes, I believe the red light could be triggered by speeders.

15 years form now, self-driving cars will be common on America's roads.
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Old 11-28-13, 02:11 PM   #22
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DSCF1015 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

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DSCF1016 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

City block flash


DSCF1017 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

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DSCF1020 by AviationMetalSmith, on Flickr

Radar (on it's own pole)

All these devices are wired. Yes, I believe the red light could be triggered by speeders.

15 years form now, self-driving cars will be common on America's roads.
Reliable self-driving cars won't, because they will be too expensive to buy for the average person.
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Old 11-28-13, 02:15 PM   #23
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Reliable self-driving cars won't, because they will be too expensive to buy for the average person.
Odds are that well before then the features will be standard on 100% of new cars. After that it's a question of turning over the fleet on the road.
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Old 11-29-13, 01:32 PM   #24
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Odds are that well before then the features will be standard on 100% of new cars. After that it's a question of turning over the fleet on the road.
I predict the Self Driving Car will multiply. No one predicted the everyday use of Computers, either.

But I make this one stipulation: The Self Driving Car will go 15MPH instead of 50MPH. Computers do Not run on testosterone, or cocaine, or amphetamines. Alcohol, you can put in the fuel-tank...
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Old 11-29-13, 02:54 PM   #25
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So while this will remove any benefit from speeding, I'm not sure how drivers will adjust. Where I live, I see people accelerate hard from intersections, and hard braking 100yds down the road. They do this with full knowledge that there's a red light ahead. The concept of taking the foot off the gas and coasting to a stoplight seems totally foreign to most non-bicyclists. So I wouldn't be surprised if many will continue to speed, then waiting longer at the light.
No, some people just don't get it.


I've been honked at and/or shotgunned while coasting up to a red (in my car).

"Hey, Einstein, the light is RED!"
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