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Has ignoring red lights gotten a lot worse?

  • 18-12-2018 2:36pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ ongarboy


    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/we-forgive-you-dad-of-cian-6-killed-at-pedestrian-crossing-tells-dangerous-driver-37637372.html

    Just reading this heartbreaking story of a young boy who crossed at the pedestrian lights when the pedestrian man turned green and was knocked down and killed by a motorist with 32 previous convictions including a 3 year ban. Amazingly his family have forgiven the driver which just shows how amazing the human spirit can be.

    The reason I'm writing is that I cross the junction of Guild Street and Mayor Street as a pedestrian every day in the IFSC in Dublin and it really angers me the way I see so many cars (mainly those coming from Beckett Bridge/North Wall Quay towards Sherrif St) breaking red lights. This morning, I observed the light going red and not one, not two, not three but 4 cars still proceeded to drive through the junction despite the pedestrian man being green and for which we all had to wait for the cars to pass before proceeding to cross.

    I'm seeing this ignoring of red lights by motorists everywhere in Dublin these days. It used to just be amber gambling. Is this an upward trend associated with people's increased sense of impatience or has it always been there? More people will be killed like little Cian as long as this habit is not policed. I acknowledge that cyclists and pedestrians can similarly ignore ROTR but the consequences of a reckless motorist will always be so much worse in these circumstances. :mad::mad::mad:


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,084 ✭✭✭ stevek93


    About one year ago I was crossing the road the pedestrian man was green for me to walk, while I was crossing a car turned left into my path and the driver proceeded to shout abuse at me I was in his way, he then got out of his car and proceeded to shout more abuse at me. :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,123 ✭✭✭ amcalester


    It seems to have gotten much worse, time to introduce red light cameras.

    I saw a motorcyclist collide with a truck that ran a red light and turned across the motorcyclist, waited for the Guards to arrive to leave my details/make a statement but they didn't care. Left my name and never heard anything back.

    Just today I saw 3 cars that were stopped at a pedestrian crossing all break the red light once the pedestrian had crossed. They got less than 50 up the road before they rejoined the traffic jam so not sure why they bothered.


  • Administrators, Business & Finance Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,786 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Toots


    Something very similar to what's described in the OP happened to me and my son about 4 years ago. By the grace of God, I saw the car coming through the junction and I had a split seconds warning to pull my son back. The driver didn't stop, and it still haunts me how close we may have come to a situation like that poor family.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,494 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Well it's pretty endemic on the N11 anyway. Obviously more noticeable when you're stopped at the front of the lights and can see the side road lights and see how many go through clear red, on until you actually have a green light. Worst ones are Whites Cross and Kilmad Road/ Stillorgan Park Road, but pretty much every set everytime I'm stopped you see it. I'm sure the main carriageway is as bad, it's just not as obvious when you're not waiting for green. Another bad one is the right turn at the Beacon inbound on the Drummartin Link Road.

    The thing is, better compliance would mean shorter sequence times, so Red Light Cameras (which are the only answer) would probably benefit traffic flow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 683 ✭✭✭ steamsey


    IMO it's worse. Traffic is so bad now all over that people are rushing to get that light and don't mind being pushy or blatantly breaking red lights to save those precious seconds. It's pretty normal now to accelerate through an amber / just gone red light. In general, road manners have disimproved - it's not just red lights that are the problem.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,157 ✭✭✭ cruizer101


    I think it has got worse myself. In town regularly see people activley accelerate through orange and also red lights.
    Funny thing is half the time they gain nothing as they are just joining another queue of traffic.
    Couple of mobile red light cameras could help solve the issue pretty quickly, once few people get fines word would spread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,053 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    amcalester wrote: »
    It seems to have gotten much worse, time to introduce red light cameras.

    Cameras are no good because the person only finds out a few weeks later that they went through a red. Have the Gardaí spend a few days/weeks enforcing something other than exceeding the posted speed limit or DUI and you'll see our driving standards improve. A bolloxing at the side of the road making them late and a fine is better than a letter a few weeks later.

    Running reds is getting worse. I was stopped coming from the Square to get onto the N81 and I'd say about 10 cars went through on the red on the main road before a car stopped. It's gotten so bad that I now have to consider is it safe for me to brake when the lights go amber in case the cars behind me won't.

    Look at the USA. No one runs lights and they all stop at Stop signs because it's rigidly enforced but everyone DUIs, over here very few DUI but everyone runs lights and ignores signs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,123 ✭✭✭ amcalester


    Del2005 wrote: »
    Running reds is getting worse. I was stopped coming from the Square to get onto the N81 and I'd say about 10 cars went through on the red on the main road before a car stopped. It's gotten so bad that I now have to consider is it safe for me to brake when the lights go amber in case the cars behind me won't.

    Strangely this is where I saw the motorbike hit the truck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,140 ✭✭✭ What Username Guidelines


    That story is absolutely heartbreaking. Couldn't finish it beyond the part about the parents visiting his grave every night to read him a bedtime story. Jesus.

    I think it has gotten far worse in the last 12 months. There are some particular junctions in the city that are worse than others. I cycle into the city (and yes, cyclists do seem to have a bad name for red light jumping, but I don't represent all cyclists) and as OP mentioned, there is a far greater risk to the way cars break lights.
    Macy0161 wrote: »
    Obviously more noticeable when you're stopped at the front of the lights and can see the side road lights and see how many go through clear red, on until you actually have a green light

    This is a great point. On the bike, I'm always stopped at the top of the queue, so it's far more obvious. In a car you wont see it as much unless you're at the lights, but you will see cyclists and pedestrians breaking lights. Interesting data here too

    Red light cameras and stricter enforcement are urgently needed.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    The issue with red light cameras is you don't have to stop for them and amber sequences are far too short in most circumstances.

    I always watch what's going on around me even if the pedestrian light is green (where applicable). And I constantly encourage my son to do so also. I wont cross a road if i see a car approaching. Even if they'd need to turn onto the road im on and they dont have an indicator on.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,392 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Weepsie


    The issue with red light cameras is you don't have to stop for them and amber sequences are far too short in most circumstances.

    I always watch what's going on around me even if the pedestrian light is green (where applicable). And I constantly encourage my son to do so also. I wont cross a road if i see a car approaching. Even if they'd need to turn onto the road im on and they dont have an indicator on.


    How do you mean? Amber is the one you stop on unless it's unsafe to do so. It doesn't matter a jot how the long the sequence is, as soon as that's amber that means you should be ready to stop unless you really can't.

    People keep going however, and treat it like " ah you've a few seconds til you have to stop" and 4-5 cars squeeze on through. In reality, only that first car should ever be in a position that it has to proceed through an amber light because it is close to the stop line.

    You stop on amber. Simple as. It's written in very plain english in the Road Traffic Act.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31 ✭✭✭ greenwaving


    I cycle through the city everyday and contrary to popular belief I stop at amber/red lights. I do see several cyclists break the lights daily but the number of cars/heavy trucks/vans doing it is endemic. And it is not vehicles chancing amber lights - it is vehicle after vehicle driving through blatant reds sometimes when pedestrians have already started to cross.

    Forget about the guards doing one off campaigns to target it - get the cameras in and hit them with fines every single time they do it as well as with points for repeat offenders. Last week I saw a massive truck sail through a red light on the north quays followed by a van driver when I, with other pedestrians, was almost halfway across the road on a green man. They ignore the red lights and the pedestrians who are almost in their paths putting lives at risk. But I doubt they would be so careless to risk fines or losing their licence through points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,494 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    Start dishing out Penalty points from Red Light Cameras and word will soon get out.

    When I lived in the UK, they had Red Light Cameras on rotation (like their fixed speeding cameras), and compliance was always better at the ones they were potentially at. iirc you could get done for speeding too, so it also meant zero incentive to floor it to make the lights either.

    Gardai enforcement on stuff like this that can be enforced more effectively (no subjectivity at all) by camera's is a complete waste of resources. It's clear cut, it doesn't need someone to observe and decide like other poor behaviours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ ongarboy


    Weepsie wrote: »
    How do you mean? Amber is the one you stop on unless it's unsafe to do so. It doesn't matter a jot how the long the sequence is, as soon as that's amber that means you should be ready to stop unless you really can't.

    People keep going however, and treat it like " ah you've a few seconds til you have to stop" and 4-5 cars squeeze on through. In reality, only that first car should ever be in a position that it has to proceed through an amber light because it is close to the stop line.

    You stop on amber. Simple as. It's written in very plain english in the Road Traffic Act.

    I totally agree with you. I've been beeped at for stopping as the light went from amber to red because I "held up" a driver behind me! That's more of the mindset of these drivers....


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    Weepsie wrote: »
    How do you mean? Amber is the one you stop on unless it's unsafe to do so. It doesn't matter a jot how the long the sequence is, as soon as that's amber that means you should be ready to stop unless you really can't.

    People keep going however, and treat it like " ah you've a few seconds til you have to stop" and 4-5 cars squeeze on through. In reality, only that first car should ever be in a position that it has to proceed through an amber light because it is close to the stop line.

    You stop on amber. Simple as. It's written in very plain english in the Road Traffic Act.

    Nothing is written in plain simple English in any act of law.

    For Amber, you stop unless unsafe to do so.
    Same pretty much goes for red.

    Once you are within a Junction on Amber or Red, the lights are of no significance to you. Right of Way is yours regardless of where the Green Signals are.

    All in the road traffic acts.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,392 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Weepsie


    Nothing is written in plain simple English in any act of law.

    For Amber, you stop unless unsafe to do so.
    Same pretty much goes for red.

    Once you are within a Junction on Amber or Red, the lights are of no significance to you. Right of Way is yours regardless of where the Green Signals are.

    All in the road traffic acts.

    But that's not what we're talking about here. People are specifically entering a junction after a light goes amber and that's problem.

    I have no problems with a vehicle clearing a junction/proceeding if it has entered while it had right of way.

    The problem is vehicles gunning it well back from the lights thinking that amber means they can go. What you do on approach to lights is very black and white.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    Weepsie wrote: »
    But that's not what we're talking about here. People are specifically entering a junction after a light goes amber and that's problem.

    I have no problems with a vehicle clearing a junction/proceeding if it has entered while it had right of way.

    The problem is vehicles gunning it well back from the lights thinking that amber means they can go. What you do on approach to lights is very black and white.

    From my recollection of reading it, Right of Way in the junction after a red, makes no distinction as to why you ended up in that junction, with a red light from where you came. Just that you are there and need to clear the junction, without others impeeding you, even if they have a green light. That'll need to be addressed before putting up Red Light Cameras. I'm not condoning it, just indicating what this thread is pushing, isn't simply a matter of sticking a few cameras up.

    If the amber comes up, and I don't have the distance to stop in a manner that isn't abrupt, I'll go through it. Unless I see something else around the junction that requires me to stop abruptly.

    I ain't one for speeding either. I'm genuinely not the kind to be in a rush to get anywhere. But the Ambers aren't usually set to the distance required to stop safely, for the speed limit on the road. They are just to tell you that the red light is coming up in the sequence.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,474 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    The issue with red light cameras is you don't have to stop for them and amber sequences are far too short in most circumstances.

    I always watch what's going on around me even if the pedestrian light is green (where applicable). And I constantly encourage my son to do so also. I wont cross a road if i see a car approaching. Even if they'd need to turn onto the road im on and they dont have an indicator on.

    I would have said Amber sequences as well as breaks between crossings turning green after the crossing light is red are far too long, giving rise to the belief that you'll be grand running a red.

    Traffic light cameras are the way to go. They can be set to only pick up cars after the light is red, behind a certain point, so it won't affect people sitting in there when it turns amber.

    I guarantee you, after the first flurry of fines come out, RLJing will plummet across Ireland. Very shortly, it will become the norm and the culture will change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,013 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    Weepsie wrote: »
    But that's not what we're talking about here. People are specifically entering a junction after a light goes amber and that's problem.

    I have no problems with a vehicle clearing a junction/proceeding if it has entered while it had right of way.

    The problem is vehicles gunning it well back from the lights thinking that amber means they can go. What you do on approach to lights is very black and white.

    From my recollection of reading it, Right of Way in the junction after a red, makes no distinction as to why you ended up in that junction, with a red light from where you came. Just that you are there and need to clear the junction, without others impeeding you, even if they have a green light. That'll need to be addressed before putting up Red Light Cameras. I'm not condoning it, just indicating what this thread is pushing, isn't simply a matter of sticking a few cameras up.

    If the amber comes up, and I don't have the distance to stop in a manner that isn't abrupt, I'll go through it. Unless I see something else around the junction that requires me to stop abruptly.

    I ain't one for speeding either. I'm genuinely not the kind to be in a rush to get anywhere. But the Ambers aren't usually set to the distance required to stop safely, for the speed limit on the road. They are just to tell you that the red light is coming up in the sequence.
    People shouldn't be surprised by an amber light. Any green light is bound to go amber. If you didn't see it going green, then you know it's going to go amber soon. If you did see it going green, you should have a good idea of when it's going amber.

    There are far too many excuses for breaking lights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,103 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Its gotten much, much worse in my opinion. I love stopping on yellow and getting hooted at by the people behind me who would have gone through on a clear red!

    However, I can understand why some drivers do it... various light sequences with a 3 or 4 minute wait... you do it three times and you're home 12 minutes earlier. I wouldn't though.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,449 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    It's only an issue if cyclists do it.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    People shouldn't be surprised by an amber light. Any green light is bound to go amber. If you didn't see it going green, then you know it's going to go amber soon. If you did see it going green, you should have a good idea of when it's going amber.

    There are far too many excuses for breaking lights.

    I'm not going to focus on remembering the timings of traffic lights. They should be adjusted to suit the junction and/or road they are on.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,474 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    I'm not going to focus on remembering the timings of traffic lights. They should be adjusted to suit the junction and/or road they are on.

    You don't need to learn anything, you see a green light, don't keep gunning it as if it will stay green. Be prepared that you may have to stop until you reach a distance that stopping before the line would be dangerous/difficult. You should always be able to stop on Amber unless you are essentially going to be over the line if you drop anchor, in which case, proceed. If it is red when you get there and you cannot stop in time, then you clearly were not paying enough attention with the amber lights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,613 ✭✭✭✭ whiskeyman


    I'm seeing it all too frequently too.
    What's worse is those who speed up into a junction when it goes Amber or just red.
    Their focus is now taken off the road observation as they focus on making the light, and any out of the ordinary incident could be serious.
    I already posted a dashcam clip of an accident that happened when a driver sped up to make an Amber light turn but failed to notice a car turning out from a line of traffic.
    It could be a child crossing the road... all for thinking you'll get to work or home that bit quicker, but in reality you'll probably hit lights elsewhere anyway.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,273 ✭✭✭✭ Leyla Agreeable Showcase


    Definitely getting worse. Everyone rushing to get somewhere.

    Bus I'm on had to brake to allow a dozen pedestrians cross against a red man.

    Enevitably a bike will also break a red and a car will too within the next 40 minutes of my journey.

    The only solution is to ban red lights ! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,509 ✭✭✭✭ Realt Dearg Sec


    Its gotten much, much worse in my opinion. I love stopping on yellow and getting hooted at by the people behind me who would have gone through on a clear red!

    However, I can understand why some drivers do it... various light sequences with a 3 or 4 minute wait... you do it three times and you're home 12 minutes earlier. I wouldn't though.
    I often wonder what valuable things these people are doing with their saved minutes when they get home. Maybe they should give two of them to thinking about that family standing by a graveside reading a bedtime story.

    I live in Texas where, as someone mentioned, people drink and drive all the time. But the red light cameras work a treat: you know you got the fine straight away simply because the camera has a very prominent flash, which is satisfying to see when it catches someone! The only problem is it's clearly used as a revenue generator because it also catches people in a junction after it goes red, and in New York they were discovered to have shortened yellow light times to catch more people, which has led to more fender benders as people stop at yellow lights even when it's unsafe (the rule here is that if you are in the junction when the lights have changed you're in the wrong). But these are issues that need tweaking, rather than fundamental problems with the idea. It works well in general.

    I'm not proud to admit I ran through a yellow my first week here. The seventy quid fine softened my cough fairly overly and I haven't done it since.


  • Registered Users Posts: 643 Corca Baiscinn


    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/15/opinion/sunday/cars-pedestrians-cities.html

    Saw the link to this excellent piece from New York Times on twitter earlier today and thought of it again when I read this thread. The hierarchy of rights needs to be reversed in favour of pedestrians and cyclists and its happening already in many cities. Today within 10 minutes I had occasion to cross 2 zebra crossings twice and in 3 of the 4 cases I had to eyeball the driver mid-crossing and insist they stopped to allow me complete the crossing. One waited til the last second as he assumed I would stop instead. Now I'm an adult of average height and lots of experience so could do that but no way could you send a child walking on that route and assume that they'd be ok because there are pedestrian crossings. More nervous adults understandably give in too and stop in their tracks (I'm talking about when there is no car coming in the other direction) thus fuelling the motorist's sense of entitlement

    Enforcement, red light cameras and lower speed limits are all needed along with a culture shift towards behavioral change. The judge in the case cited said that speed was an aggravating factor and that the driver was driving at 10 km above the speed limit. We know that the chances of being killed from an impact with a vehicle increase substantially for every extra 10km


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    I found it chronic when I was home last summer, absolutely unbelievable. Nearly ever set of lights I was at someone would run them. The sequence times are terrible though, so many junctions you seem to sit there forever even if nothing coming from the other roads.
    Red light cameras and some level of intelligent light changes that actually account for traffic are badly needed. The wait time for pedestrians is even worse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,741 ✭✭✭ John_Rambo


    It’s gotten endemic all over the country. I have to coach the kids not to trust the green man and to check twice before crossing due to cars and vans blasting through pedestrian lights only to stop in traffic 20 metres up the road. Morons.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    CramCycle wrote: »
    You don't need to learn anything, you see a green light, don't keep gunning it as if it will stay green. Be prepared that you may have to stop until you reach a distance that stopping before the line would be dangerous/difficult. You should always be able to stop on Amber unless you are essentially going to be over the line if you drop anchor, in which case, proceed. If it is red when you get there and you cannot stop in time, then you clearly were not paying enough attention with the amber lights.

    Do I have to copy everything I write into each post I write? I'm far from the one gunning it.


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