An oversize truck was prevented only at the last second from entering the tunnel under Sydney’s harbour, after a large stop sign being projected onto a water screen, that had been activated at the mouth of the tunnel, came to the driver’s attention.
This after the driver apparently failed to notice a number of prior warnings to stop his vehicle as it was deemed too big for the tunnel. I hate to think of the traffic chaos, and who knows what else, that would have resulted had the truck not been stopped in time.
People who evaluate the situation for themselves and cross on their own terms. Finally, my personal ideal. These are people who don’t stupidly run across the street with a blatant disregard for their surroundings. Yet they’ll take a step forward, and as the last car passes they have no problem looking both ways and crossing. They realize that it’s pointless to sit and wait around for the last fifteen seconds while life passes them by and the street sits empty. They’re willing to take a calculated “risk” and not just follow rules blindly because “that’s the way it is.”
While it hasn’t been so bad in recent years, once if you wandered around the streets surrounding Randwick Racecourse or Centennial Park while one of the summer music festivals was in progress, you would witness all manner of bizarre efforts attendees had made to park their cars.
Any space that could fit a car seemed to be fine, be that footpaths, driveways, or garage entrances. Forget the legalities and all, we have a gig to get to after all.
Stop if a traffic signal is orange/amber provided you are able to do so safely. Come to a complete halt at a stop sign, and wait until the way is clear. The posted speed limit is the maximum you can travel at so long as road conditions permit this, otherwise reduce speed.
Yep, I think most drivers know things like this.
Still, there’s probably a slew of lesser known regulations (at least in this jurisdiction) that you may not be aware of… that, as a licensed driver, you are nonetheless obliged to be familiar with, including this law regarding the proper use of car horn. That one was definitely news to me.
Be careful how you say farewell to a friend or relative next time you’re visiting. A toot of the horn and a wave goodbye out the window as you drive down the street could cost you almost $600 and three demerit points in NSW: $298 for the “illegal use of a warning device”, and a further $298 fine (and three points) for having a “limb protrude” from the car. The same “limb protrude” ticket applies to resting your elbow on the window ledge.
There is an alternative to this system – eliminate traffic lights altogether: an idea sometimes called “naked streets” or “shared space.” In their most extreme versions, naked streets have no traffic lights, surface markings, or sidewalks. But some cities, including London, have been experimenting with taking out traffic lights, while leaving the rest of the road system intact. And it turns out that these streets aren’t just safer for cyclists and most pedestrians, they also improve roads for drivers and lessen the impact on the environment.
Apparently the absence of traffic signals results in safer, more responsible, driving by motorists, though my mind still boggles at the prospect of certain intersections I know of being without signals.
In order to reduce the number of accidents at intersections, researchers at MIT have devised an algorithm that predicts when an oncoming car is likely to run a red light. Based on parameters such as the vehicle’s deceleration and its distance from a light, the group was able to determine which cars were potential “violators” – those likely to cross into an intersection after a light has turned red – and which were “compliant.”
Traffic lights that incorporate a hourglass, giving motorists an indication of when the signal will change from one phase to another… while certainly pleasing visually, reservations have been expressed about the usability of such a system in some of the discussion accompanying the source article.
For instance, how to allocate green lights if a couple of drivers have paid for them at the same intersection at the same time? Should there be a set price, or should people motorists be able to bid for a green light depending on demand and availability?
How would something like this actually work? Would drivers buy something like an EZ-Pass that automatically provided preferential treatment at every traffic light? Would a prepaid device be sold with the car itself, perhaps included as a standard feature on larger, more conspicuously-consuming vehicles like Cadillac Escalades? Those ideas don’t seem very imaginative – and they’re not true to the original, shamanic vision: “you’re at a red light and can pay for it to go green.” That seems to describe what economists and marketing types call a “point of sale” decision, not a premeditated bulk purchase.
How about taking money out of the equation all together and allocating motorists a certain number of green-light credits for each year they don’t get booked for a traffic violation or any other incident. Might a couple free turn-this-red-light-green passes prompt safer driving?
In any event we’re still going to need an ace programmer to set up traffic light sequences that can changed at very short notice.
A (disputed) US study has found that bans on texting while driving are proving ineffective, and may even be causing an increase in car accidents, as texting drivers attempt to conceal their activity, which further distracts them while they are behind the wheel.
As for what might account for an increase in crashes, speculation centered on the possibility that drivers were even more distracted by their own efforts to conceal their texting from view lest it be exposed to possible law enforcement.