Thursday, August 04, 2005

Red Light - - Red Light

From personal observation, 100 percent of the people who run red lights get away with it. With many years of driving experience in every condition from metro to off-road, I've observed many, many red light runners. Never have I seen one red light runner cause a law enforcement vehicle alarm or even the slightest activity. Not often, but sometimes even when such law enforcement vehicle was at the light that was violated.

There must be a set of conditions required for someone to get a ticket for running a red light that I'm not aware of and it would be nice to know what they are so I, too, can run red lights with impunity. I have this suspicion, however, that as soon as I begin to run or even squeeze the red lights I'll get to see someone stopped and given a ticket for the first time.

Red light squeezing and outright running seems to be increasing in frequency lately. Especially those in the left turn lane who push the red arrow to the point that green light traffic actually has to wait for the crossing traffic to stop running the red arrow. I suppose a red arrow doesn't have the same power to hold people back as does a full round disk. I've watched people honk, push their cars forward in a threatening manner, yell out the windows, gesture in an obvious angry way, all to try to get the right of way and stop the left turn red light runners. To no avail except in the case of a woman who must have felt threatened enough to stop half way through the red light running process, completely blocking the right of way, green light traffic until someone began to get out of their car (probably to help push her car to the side, thinking it was stalled) when she took off like a shot and disappeared down the road.

I am aware that even law enforcement personell are also aware of this as a problem, a growing problem. Efforts to educate the public, to label this as "aggressive driving" (at least), to put up cameras and send tickets to the license plate owners, and more efforts have and are being made even as I write. It probably is just me. I don't attract law enforcement but do attract law breakers. The cops should follow me around. Traffic laws are broken in plain sight all about me. Yup, it must be me. I bet it doesn't happen to anyone else.????

1 comment:

Trucker Dude said...

Well, Dave, you've hit a raw nerve here with me! For years I've been watching this phenomenon with interest and have yet to figure out "the rules" of this game. As far as I can tell, they vary from place to place. Where I live now, the rule seems to be "when it turns red, two more people can get through," but other areas seem to vary from zero (very rare, almost extinct), to four in areas of New Jersey and Philadelphia. While learning to drive a large truck, I was taught that I would never be allowed the right of way by 4-wheelers, but that I could always take it by "plugging" the intersection so that when it does finally turn yellow and then red, no one else could get through until I moved and cleared the intersection. This of course mainly applies to making a left turn since ahead or right requires no waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.

Some very interesting comments in your posts, I hope to be reminded on a periodic basis to read them. Maybe I'll even start posting on mine again :)