Glass City Jungle had this post, http://glasscityjungle.com/wordpress/?p=5605#comments. At the middle of the post there is this phrase 'but if we had more stringent laws when it comes to punishing those who kill someone while driving, perhaps that would be an even stronger motivation for people to not run red lights'.
In a comment to the above post I cited the laws as they now stand for vehicular homicide, negligent homicide, and reckless homicide. We have these laws on the books, but people who do these things are not considering the legal consequences of an accident as they run a red light. Who assumes there will be an injury or death because of breaking a 'dumb' law?
This link, http://www.odu.edu/ao/instadv/quest/GunAndGo.html, brings up some points about how those who run red lights are likely to engage in other reckless behavior. Most of the red light accidents occur between 6 AM and 6 PM, and involve younger drivers in a hurry to get to work or school.
On Swampbubbles, Graphics Guy came up with this solution, http://swampbubbles.com/20090109/poll/would-you-vote-increased-fines-fund-traffic-cops-intersections#comment-35794, which changes the way the red lights operate to promote safety at the intersections.
Perhaps we should consider laws that are more draconian. Maybe a six month suspension of the license for a driver the first time s/he is caught running a red light, a year the second time, and lifetime revocation of his/her license for a third offense. There is always public transportation for those who cannot obey the law.
I would venture to guess that half of red lights and stop signs are run because of an honest mistake. The other half are probably run intentionally because they don't want to wait. I dare say everyone here has run a red light unintentionally (and often times not even know it). I remember a time that I was driving around downtown Toledo and ran a red light that I didn't even see. I would have been completely unaware that I had run it if my passenger didn't say something halfway through the intersection. Was it a mistake? Yes. But was it the same level of infraction that intentionally running a red light would be? I don't think so.
A 6 month revocation of license seems a bit extreme for accidental red light running. Unfortunately it is not always possible to understand intent. If it were the intentional runners should be severely punished.
I too have run red lights unintentionally. Luckily, there was no traffic.
I tend to wait a couple of seconds before I proceed into an intersection (that has saved my life on at least two occasions). For those who run the red light at speed there is usually no cost. For someone like myself (who is lollygaging along) there are the shaken fists from others inconvenienced by my negligence.
Perhaps we cannot stop people from running red lights, but assume it will happen anytime our light goes from red to green. Perhaps we are in the right, but if we are broadsided we will be just as dead as the red light runner. So perhaps caution on our part is the best course when driving because we know the other half are in a hurry to get to hell.
I would also say that 99% of all red light runners happen during the two seconds after turning red. Toledo could adopt the policy of having a time between switches in traffic flow where there is no green light. That would give time for cars to clear the intersection. Of course that would cut into red light camera profits, and the city has come to depend on that.
HeyHey you have the completely right thought process. I have been in this city for 5 months now and it is growing on me. I have a tendency to love living in the city, but as many city dwellers I am not one for patience. I do not, and never will, run red lights. It kills, and causes traumatic accidents, as it did to a good friend of mine. But there is definitely a problem with the timing of the lights in and around the city. I am one to watch the timing of lights as they make their run from green to yellow to red as I like to be able to anticipate when I am supposed to go. But, I have lately seen that the time for an individual to clear an intersection is dramatically reduced in this city compared to many others. For instance, I go to the Super Fitness on Alexis Road almost everyday. And almost everyday there is someone who just barely clears the intersection from a light turning to red without much hesitation on yellow. Now many out there will say that you are not supposed to go through the intersection on yellow, and I am not one to argue against or for that point. But the reality of the paper argument is that it DOES happen. And since this does happen, the city needs to give people time to clear the intersection before the light from the opposite traffic flow turns green. I many a times have been sitting at a light waiting for it to turn green, and can see that the light going in the opposite direction is about to turn red. Without fail, every time that light turns red, my light instantly turns green. There is no hesitation from their light turning red to my light turning green. It amazes how many times by now I would have gotten hit if I had actually gone on my green light because people had not crossed the intersection completely. This is not the only location this occurs. When I am coming home, I live in the downtown area, this happens all the time when I am going north on Washington. If I am not more alert than the people going east to west, or vice-versa, I would be sure to go when my light is green and could have done reprehensible damage to both vehicles and possibly both lives. I may not be an expert in this area, and I have no official research to back me up. But I do know what I see day after day and it is disturbing. I just hope that HeyHey is not right. I hope this is not part of the grander scheme to catch my "red light camera bandits" by the city in hot pursuit of profit. If that is the case then I feel sorry for the individuals who put their faith and safety in the hands of officials who are supposed to ensure safety through the use of lights and cameras. So please Toledo, do something to change the timing of the lights so that we may all have that moment of hesitation, that moment that will allow us to reach our homes safely and unscathed.
I've never run a red light on purpose but I did run one a few years ago by accident. HeyHey, I would not be able to say how long the light was red because like I said... it was an accident—I never saw the light. So, I'm not so sure about that 99% in the first 2 seconds after turning red thing. Not that adding an extra second or two before turning the other light green isn't a good idea, because it is.
I only ran a red light one time, and it was because the big truck ahead of me blocked all view of the light & he just went sailing through & I followed, only to realize the light had just changed to red.
That means you were following too closely. Remember, a car length for every 10 mph - lol!
That's what I now do. I follow no further behind a big truck than I can see over him. It's saved me running a few red lights.
What I do when a light turns green, and I have to wait because 5 more cars have decided to keep going through the same red light-is to hang my arm into the horn producing a continuous blast. It sure gets their attention!
I disagree that most red light runners are honest mistakes. I live in the Westgate area and have to deal with Secor/Central, Monroe/Central, Central/Douglas and Monroe/Douglas. Putting in the red light cameras have made a great difference. Before those cameras went in those intersections were like the wild west. Sometimes a train for 3 or 4 cars would run red lights. I felt as if I was taking my life in my hands every time I drove.
The red light cameras changed all of that and people behave themselves now. I applaud those cameras and who knows how many lives they have saved including your own.
"What I do when a light turns green, and I have to wait because 5 more cars have decided to keep going through the same red light-is to hang my arm into the horn producing a continuous blast. It sure gets their attention!"
That's what I do!
Ever notice when you do that, how MAD the offenders get? hahaha
No, just guilty, self centered and stupid!
It seems that whenever I honk my horn at somebody for whatever reason, they don't get mad, because they are completely oblivious to me -- which is usually related to the reason I honked at them in the first place.
Whenever I hear a horn honk I think it is someone I know, but I don't turn around to find out who it is because I might get in an accident. Who would know they are being honked at if five drivers doing wrong are honked at by someone in a crowd of 20?
I know it’s wrong, but sometimes when people run a red on purpose I will act like I am going to pull out anyway. Idiots. If a cop would sit at Cherry and Summit between 7:30 and 8:00am they could get this city out of it’s deficit in a few week writing tickets. That intersection is full of doorknobs running the red going north on Cherry.
Ryan, I wonder if the police have done research on your idea. You offer it in jest but if they did a traffic study, and found a couple of intersections were they could earn money pulling over red light runners, and alternated between them, it might be worth the costs in manpower. And it would be constitutional.
Personally I believe they know darn well what that intersection is like. But, they probably think they would cause major problems pulling people over in that area. It is sort of the annex to downtown. Heck, I wouldn’t mind being late to work if it meant people were getting ticketed for what they illegally do on a daily basis. I have literally gone on green before and been side to side with someone who ran the read and turned left onto Summit. It’s ridiculous.
That intersection (Cherry & Summit) has a red light camera I believe. So those idiots should be getting tickets in the mail. On a related note, the signal to turn left from Cherry to Summit coming from the bridge is entirely too short. I think 2-3 cars is all that can make it through.
I don’t care how short it is, those people are maniacs! I know they use the whole “I am in the intersection when it turns red” defense, but they are not. You can count to 5 and they are still coming. Same with the people turning East onto Cherry off of Southbound Summit. When the bridge was only one lane – man. They would keep going until they were stuck in the intersection and then nobody could go and we would all sit through lights.
I agree that a cop should be there-it would be like shooting fish in a barrel giving out tickets to these knobs. Has anyone seen this behavior in other cities? I was in Cleveland recently for a day, and didn't see a single instance of this bullshit.
Last time I seen someone run a red was when the cop turned on the cherries and berries so he could go get his coffee and donuts.
I find that the incidents increase the closer one gets to the inner city.
with the same philosophy used in sensors indicating when a car is in the lane to activate the light, when the light turns yellow, have a program written into the intersection when a violator crosses the sensor, a large pole is hydrolically launched into the path of the violator, therefore rendering the violator's car useless.
The city will have the violator sent a violation, the city's towing service receives it's obligatory tow and clean-up, and the city's ambulance service gets in on the deal.
It's win-win-win for 22!
That should solve the problem in it's entirety.
"I find that the incidents increase the closer one gets to the inner city.
posted by Offshore on Feb 05, 2009 at 08:07:34 am #"
People are probably afraid to stop their cars in the hood for fear of being robbed!LOL!
Longer yellow lights would do it.