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Continental style traffic lights.

  • 17-05-2013 9:59am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 264 ✭✭ Seasoft


    One (of many ) things that annoy me is drivers who do not stop behind the line at traffic lights. Even though it is a penalty points offence, it is a common occurrence. Some stop and creep forward, others go as far as they can, even straddling the pedestrian crossway.
    Now in many continental countries (France for sure) there is only one pole with traffic lights and it's at the stop line. halfway down the pole there is a small set of lights angled to face the driver in the first car. Because there is no set on the other side of the junction, if you pass the first set of lights you cannot see any.
    The effect of this is that cars cannot creep forward, nor are they inclined to stop past the line.

    So, long story short... should we consider using these here?

    Also, another factor would be a great saving as junctions would need 50% less infrastructure.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,045 gramar


    I live in Spain and the lights halfway down are useful for cars and bikes.
    Another very useful thing they've introduced where I live over the last couple of years is a countdown clock on the lights. if it's red you know how long you'll be waiting and can get ready when it's 3,2,1 and if approaching green lights you know how long beofre they'll go red. if you're a hundred yards away and there's two seconds left then you start braking instead of speeding up and hoping you'll get through.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,093 ✭✭✭ hi5


    I saw those bicycle traffic lights outside the Waterford institute of technology on the Cork road recently.
    Good idea, I hope they don't get vandalised.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    why does it annoy you OP? It doesn't make much difference whether a car is stopped on the line or ahead of it so long as it does stop. Stopping behind the line can cause problems with the sensors alright, but so long as the car isn't fouling the junction, I don't see a problem, certainly not one worth advocating spending money we don't have on extra lights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,607 ✭✭✭ stoneill


    Driver education and Gardai to start applying the penalty points. That'll learn them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    corktina wrote: »
    why does it annoy you OP? It doesn't make much difference whether a car is stopped on the line or ahead of it so long as it does stop. Stopping behind the line can cause problems with the sensors alright, but so long as the car isn't fouling the junction, I don't see a problem, certainly not one worth advocating spending money we don't have on extra lights.
    I think the OP is advocating installing fewer lights.

    We follow British practice and install secondary heads generally. Continental Europe does not follow this practice (certainly in the countries I'm familiar with) and installs only primary signal head(s) located at or slightly beyond the stop line. If you creep past the line, you won't see the signal change and will get beeped at to move on, so drivers obey the stop lines.

    This is most noticeable where a junction requires a line set back from the physical junction to allow buses and HGVs to make the turn without being blocked by waiting vehicles which have crept past the stop line.

    In the long run it means fewer signal heads, so less initial cost, fewer heads to maintain and fewer heads to power. I really don't see the downside and feel that slavishly following (often good) British practice is sometimes folly. The British do a lot of things very well, but not everything. I think they sometimes go way OTT on some of their installations:

    ga19_pedestrian-crossing.jpg

    4 signal heads for a single pedestrian crossing is IMO madness. 2 primary heads and the secondaries located just 5 feet behind them! This is total overkill.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,835 ✭✭✭ markpb


    corktina wrote: »
    why does it annoy you OP? It doesn't make much difference whether a car is stopped on the line or ahead of it so long as it does stop.

    The problem is that when drivers fail to stop behind the line, they can make it awkward for pedestrians, disabled people or people with buggies to cross the road. In some cases, they'll crawl continuously until the lights go green which is unnerving for people crossing in front of them. The last problem is that if people are focused on lights the other side of the junction, they're less likely to be aware of what's going on right in front of them.
    murphaph wrote: »
    4 signal heads for a single pedestrian crossing is IMO madness. 2 primary heads and the secondaries located just 5 feet behind them! This is total overkill.

    If you think that's bad, you should see what DCC did when they upgraded Oscar Traynor Road to be a QBC. Every junction and pedestrian crossing now has at least three double-height poles with two sets of lights on each, one to the left and one to right of the face of the junction and one to the right rear of the exit of the junction. 18 lights per crossing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 186 ✭✭ iopener


    i think a good idea would be to introduce the amber flash just before the red light turns to green,just like what the uk and germany do, it helps get the traffic moving after a stop. there would very little cost in this, all the cables, lampposts etc are already in place all is needed is a line or two code on the traffic light controller programme. it's worth doing on trial basis,


  • Registered Users Posts: 264 ✭✭ Seasoft


    corktina wrote: »
    why does it annoy you OP? It doesn't make much difference whether a car is stopped on the line or ahead of it so long as it does stop. Stopping behind the line can cause problems with the sensors alright, but so long as the car isn't fouling the junction, I don't see a problem, certainly not one worth advocating spending money we don't have on extra lights.

    I have to disagree. As said by markpb the area in front of the line is often marked for pedestrians to cross, and sometimes there is an area for bikes. Drivers who do not stop on red at the correct line are obstructing these areas. I presume that's why points can be applied.

    I'm not advocating anything, merely wondering what people think regarding the continental style of traffic lights and should they be considered for here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,374 ✭✭✭✭ foggy_lad


    stoneill wrote: »
    Driver education and Gardai to start applying the penalty points. That'll learn them.

    Is that you Mick?:D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Seasoft wrote: »
    I have to disagree. As said by markpb the area in front of the line is often marked for pedestrians to cross, and sometimes there is an area for bikes. Drivers who do not stop on red at the correct line are obstructing these areas. I presume that's why points can be applied.

    I'm not advocating anything, merely wondering what people think regarding the continental style of traffic lights and should they be considered for here.

    it's often the case in traffic that you get stranded beyond the line, how are you going to tell what the aspect is if there is no repeater beyond the junction? You are in fact entitled to proceed if you are past the line, but would be unwise to do so if you don't know what is happening with the lights.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭ coffee_cake


    markpb wrote: »
    The problem is that when drivers fail to stop behind the line, they can make it awkward for pedestrians, disabled people or people with buggies to cross the road. In some cases, they'll crawl continuously until the lights go green which is unnerving for people crossing in front of them. The last problem is that if people are focused on lights the other side of the junction, they're less likely to be aware of what's going on right in front of them.
    .

    Indeed, I was crossing the road before and some idiot in a big suv kinda thing kept creeping forward while on his phone. :rolleyes: I had to stop crossing before I stepped in front of him (in fear of being run over!!) and stared him out of it til he copped on and stopped moving and apologised


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,230 ✭✭✭ Solair


    Those small lights on the pole have been a fairly common feature in france for decades.

    They won't get vandalised in Ireland if they survive in France. They'd graffiti anything over there yet these lights survive perfectly ok!

    In general there's a *much* bigger vandalism problem in parts if France than there is in Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,835 ✭✭✭ markpb


    corktina wrote: »
    it's often the case in traffic that you get stranded beyond the line, how are you going to tell what the aspect is if there is no repeater beyond the junction? You are in fact entitled to proceed if you are past the line, but would be unwise to do so if you don't know what is happening with the lights.

    I suspect part of the problem you mention is down to sloppy driving that has become the norm in Ireland. You are only allowed to proceed past the line/light if the junction is clear. People get stranded because they go past the line in the hope it will be clear in time. It gets more people through the lights but causes problems for everyone else when they get it wrong.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    markpb wrote: »
    I suspect part of the problem you mention is down to sloppy driving that has become the norm in Ireland. You are only allowed to proceed past the line/light if the junction is clear. People get stranded because they go past the line in the hope it will be clear in time. It gets more people through the lights but causes problems for everyone else when they get it wrong.

    that's not true....that's only if there is a yellow box....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,230 ✭✭✭ Solair


    corktina wrote: »
    that's not true....that's only if there is a yellow box....

    And even with a yellow box you may enter to turn right (across the junction)

    http://www.rulesoftheroad.ie/rules-for-driving/junctions-roundabouts/yellow-box-junctions.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    corktina wrote: »
    that's not true....that's only if there is a yellow box....
    Ah the yellow box. We shouldn't really need yellow boxes in most places we use them if people simply drove according to the rules. In Germany there are no yellow boxes but drivers know it's prohibited to enter a junction without being able to clear it and having no secondary head reinforces this idea.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    yes but that's the Germans....they do as they are told.


  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun


    Seasoft wrote: »
    One (of many ) things that annoy me is drivers who do not stop behind the line at traffic lights. Even though it is a penalty points offence, it is a common occurrence. Some stop and creep forward, others go as far as they can, even straddling the pedestrian crossway.
    Now in many continental countries (France for sure) there is only one pole with traffic lights and it's at the stop line. halfway down the pole there is a small set of lights angled to face the driver in the first car. Because there is no set on the other side of the junction, if you pass the first set of lights you cannot see any.
    The effect of this is that cars cannot creep forward, nor are they inclined to stop past the line.

    So, long story short... should we consider using these here?

    Also, another factor would be a great saving as junctions would need 50% less infrastructure.

    i thought that this was just me. I find that having the secondary light on the opposite side of the junction as waste of money, encourages the stop crawl stop crawl. Blocks pedestrian crossing.

    I like the layout in Germany. Primary light above the road lane, secondary beside the stop line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭ Alias G


    corktina wrote: »
    why does it annoy you OP? It doesn't make much difference whether a car is stopped on the line or ahead of it so long as it does stop. Stopping behind the line can cause problems with the sensors alright, but so long as the car isn't fouling the junction, I don't see a problem, certainly not one worth advocating spending money we don't have on extra lights.

    Thats a fairly ignorant attitude imo. Road signs aren't at your discretion to decide whether they are to be observed or not, they are there for good reason. As someone who cycles a lot in Dublin city centre, I find it irritating, the amount of cars that position themselves beyond the stop line and smack bang in the bicycle bay which should be reserved for cyclists. These areas are designed so that cyclists can position themselves out in front where they can be seen and are consequently safer. Taxi drivers are by far the worst offenders for whatever reason.
    Another case for removing the additional set of lights is that it would act as a disincentive for cyclists attempting to jump red lights. A lot of cyclists employ a similar tactis as motorists in that they creep forward in anticipation of a break in traffic. If they were forced to remain back in order to observe the lights sequence, they may be less inclined to do so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    where did I say it was OK to stop in cycle bays? where does it say it is NOT Ok to stop in cycle bays anyway? If traffic is queued across the junction, then it makes sense to pull forward as far as you can without blocking the junction, might just free up the previous junction...


    ps LOVED this bit from a Cyclist.... "Road signs aren't at your discretion to decide whether they are to be observed or not, they are there for good reason.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,835 ✭✭✭ markpb


    corktina wrote: »
    If traffic is queued across the junction, then it makes sense to pull forward as far as you can without blocking the junction, might just free up the previous junction...

    Except it's doesn't make sense. The potential benefits for someone behind you is outweighed by the fact that you're blocking the crossing for other road users and increases the likelihood that you'll misjudge it and end up blocking the junction for cars from other arms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭ Alias G


    corktina wrote: »
    where did I say it was OK to stop in cycle bays?

    Most junctions in urban areas now include a cycle bay. Obviously if you don't stop where you are supposed to you are going to find yourself in it.
    corktina wrote: »
    where does it say it is NOT Ok to stop in cycle bays anyway?

    See here - http://www.rulesoftheroad.ie/rules-for-driving/traffic-signs-road-markings/road-markings.html
    corktina wrote: »
    If traffic is queued across the junction, then it makes sense to pull forward as far as you can without blocking the junction, might just free up the previous junction...

    No it doesn't if you end up stuck there and are therefore a hindrance to other road users. But then you're obviously of the motorists get priority brigade.

    corktina wrote: »
    ps LOVED this bit from a Cyclist.... "Road signs aren't at your discretion to decide whether they are to be observed or not, they are there for good reason.

    You don't know anything about my driving or cycling habits. I can however infer that you are likely a selfish motorist considering your posts here. I have no wish to condone cyclists who break lights etc but maybe if you and people like you had a bit of respect for other road users, you might get a bit of respect back in return. Its not just European infrastructure that we need to be implementing, we could also do adopting certain countries cultures when it comes to sharing the road. Sadly, both sides of the fence seem to be too infantile and self interested for that to happen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    whereas you should wait in a car at red lights behind the cycle bay, there is nothing to stop you pulling forward once the lights change, either to the yellow box or to a point where you are not obstructing opposing traffic. The bay is a waiting bay, at other times it is just part of the carriageway.(IMO)


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,237 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Alias G wrote: »
    I can however infer that you are likely a selfish motorist considering your posts here.
    Please don't personalise posts.

    Moderator


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,237 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    corktina wrote: »
    whereas you should wait in a car at red lights behind the cycle bay, there is nothing to stop you pulling forward once the lights change, either to the yellow box or to a point where you are not obstructing opposing traffic. The bay is a waiting bay, at other times it is just part of the carriageway.(IMO)

    If I was driving, I would be slow to occupy either the pedestrian crossing or the bike box. One might get away with it as the first vehicle, but it becomes problematic if the first vehicle gets stuck in the junction by a light turning red and the subsequent vehicles are blocking things for pedestrians and cyclists.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,482 ✭✭✭ wexie


    Some valid points on either side here, one I haven't heard yet, which I've experienced recently driving in Holland was that not having lights at the opposite end of the junction was giving me an awful sore neck from having to bend myself in all kinds of weird shapes to be able to see the lights.

    (mind you I'm 6"5 and was driving a Fiat 500 but still) I quite like the lights where you can easily see them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    Victor wrote: »
    If I was driving, I would be slow to occupy either the pedestrian crossing or the bike box. One might get away with it as the first vehicle, but it becomes problematic if the first vehicle gets stuck in the junction by a light turning red and the subsequent vehicles are blocking things for pedestrians and cyclists.

    yes, I'd take the same attitude..slow to occupy ..but often there is room for several vehicles between the stop line and the actual junction/yellow box (if there is one). In practice pretty much everyone moves into this area when traffic is tailed back and if you don't you can bet your life someone from another lane would nip in front of you. The cycle box is not a sacrosanct area like a a yellow box is (or should be)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,835 ✭✭✭ markpb


    corktina wrote: »
    yes, I'd take the same attitude..slow to occupy ..but often there is room for several vehicles between the stop line and the actual junction/yellow box (if there is one). In practice pretty much everyone moves into this area when traffic is tailed back and if you don't you can bet your life someone from another lane would nip in front of you. The cycle box is not a sacrosanct area like a a yellow box is (or should be)

    I'm not sure you're right but I can't find the legislation to back myself up :) I understood the rear of the Advance Stop Box to be the stop line for motorists which means they should stay behind until it's clear to go - any other interpretation means that the whole concept of the ASL/ASB is redundant because they will always be filled with cars between green sequences.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    I'm not saying I'm right ..... I agree that a car should stop behind it when the light is red ,the stop line effectivley being at the start of it, but once it's green., I can't see any regulation that you should leave it clear, and in practical terms noone does.

    in any case we're way off topic.


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  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,261 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    wexie wrote: »
    Some valid points on either side here, one I haven't heard yet, which I've experienced recently driving in Holland was that not having lights at the opposite end of the junction was giving me an awful sore neck from having to bend myself in all kinds of weird shapes to be able to see the lights.

    (mind you I'm 6"5 and was driving a Fiat 500 but still) I quite like the lights where you can easily see them.
    In many countries where there are no repeater lights on the opposite end of the junction and you creep past the light, there is an unwritten rule where the car behind you beeps when the lights change.

    A former colleague worked in Mexico for a few years and was so used to this that when he came home, he continued to honk when the lights changed - but quickly realised that it had a different meaning here after experiencing a couple of road rage incidents.


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