Traffic etiquette refresher course….

when you don't see these lights, what do YOU do??

After driving through Mt Washington yesterday, where two traffic lights are still out…I was struck( not literally, though I could have been) by how many people either don’t know, or worse, don’t care what the rules are at traffic lights that are not working. I was rather irate(ok, furious) because rather than take turns, the driver(of an SUV –I’m sure you wanted to know)decided that since the person in front of them was going…they were going too! Really ticked me off.(I have promised myself I will not resort to cursing in this post…) And others are also aghast at driver behavior on the roads post-Irene.

Whoa there....

Leo wrote: ” Back in the day, they used to hang those HUGE STOP signs from the traffic light wires, (for any prolonged outages) so all the idiots that don’t use common sense wouldn’t have a prayer in court if they wrecked!”

From Andrew: “ It has thoroughly disgusted me up here in Havre de Grace and Aberdeen to see people blithely barrel through an intersection with no working traffic lights.…”( you have no monopoly on ill-behaved drivers Andrew)

And from Linda:” Not only are they flying through the intersections without stopping, they are on their cell phones too….so much for that law!”

You get the idea….and I just read where a 15 year old girl was killed this weekend at a collision where the traffic light was out. I’d just like to say, if drivers obeyed the simple rules of the road, that teenager would be alive today. And so for those of you eedjits who DON’T KNOW….LISTEN UP.

When a traffic light is non-operational…you treat that light AS IF THERE WERE STOP SIGNS IN ALL DIRECTIONS.  No rolling through…no barreling through…no thinking, I’m on the main road so all the people feeding in from the side road just have to wait….EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU IS SUPPOSED TO STOP. And then you proceed, as if at a four-way stop…taking turns, in the order at which one arrived at the light. Simple, yes? Safe, yes? One person told me about seeing this work like a ballet in L.A. when the traffic was multi-laned in every direction…so why not here?

So please, at the risk of sounding judgemental…oh wait, I am judging you…all the idiots out there who are running through darkened  traffic lights at everyone’s peril, …learn the rules, or Just.  Stay.  Home.

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5 Responses

  1. AMEN!! It drove me nuts when I was out on Sunday. Thank goodness most of the lights I go through going to work are on so i do not have to deal with the idiots who do not know or care about manners.

  2. I’ve read 2 reports that say people THINK this is a law but it is not (Baltimore Sun and Patch.com). I stopped at a down light in 2002 and was rear ended, and it was a “no fault” accident – and I was told I should NOT have stopped. I just spoke with a police officer that said this is a best practice but not sure if it is LAW. I’m waiting to hear back from a Traffic officer. Would be great if you could investigate. It is very dangerous to be unclear.

  3. I totally agree Donna, but I must admit that accidentally went through an intersection where the light was out because the light was out and no other cars were around to cross or turn. Let me clarify that because the light was not lit I didn’t even notice that there was a light there in the first place. This is my wake up to pay better attention when I know the lights are out. Also it is apparent that as we see more cars on the roads we see more oblivious, reckless drivers.

  4. Many drivers do not obey the lights when they ARE working!!!!
    Who would expect these same jerks to follow any rules when the lights are NOT working????? What a pity!

  5. Those are probably the same drivers that go through the intersection after the light turns red, or the turn arrow goes off, or drive up the shoulder when traffic is backed up, or choose to ignore the “Yield” signs when entering the roadway. I think everybody should be made to retake the driving test at least every 10 years and sooner after you are 65. Baltimore has been named one of the worst cities for driving.

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