Left Turn on Red

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KeithW
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:46

c2R wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:25
I've seen a filter it combined with a zebra crossing (which adds an enormous amount of street clutter - I can't quite recall where I was), or more often with uncontrolled crossings in the past.
What you see in some US locations is a flashing amber which means proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:38

KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:46
c2R wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:25
I've seen a filter it combined with a zebra crossing (which adds an enormous amount of street clutter - I can't quite recall where I was), or more often with uncontrolled crossings in the past.
What you see in some US locations is a flashing amber which means proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.
As we have here with Pelican crossings.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Chris Bertram » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:38

KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:46
c2R wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:25
I've seen a filter it combined with a zebra crossing (which adds an enormous amount of street clutter - I can't quite recall where I was), or more often with uncontrolled crossings in the past.
What you see in some US locations is a flashing amber which means proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.
Also seen in France, Germany, Ireland ... but I suspect that the problem in the UK is the "not invented here" angle.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:54

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:38
KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:46
c2R wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:25
I've seen a filter it combined with a zebra crossing (which adds an enormous amount of street clutter - I can't quite recall where I was), or more often with uncontrolled crossings in the past.
What you see in some US locations is a flashing amber which means proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.
As we have here with Pelican crossings.
Pelicans are no longer TSRGD compliant so new ones will never be installed, but that in theory frees up the flashing yellow amber to follow the Irish model. Perhaps. DfT are not very keen on change.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:02

Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:54
Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:38
KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:46


What you see in some US locations is a flashing amber which means proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.
As we have here with Pelican crossings.
Pelicans are no longer TSRGD compliant so new ones will never be installed, but that in theory frees up the flashing yellow amber to follow the Irish model. Perhaps. DfT are not very keen on change.
They have though established the concept in the UK of using flashing amber as "proceed with caution"
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:10

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:02
Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:54
Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:38


As we have here with Pelican crossings.
Pelicans are no longer TSRGD compliant so new ones will never be installed, but that in theory frees up the flashing yellow amber to follow the Irish model. Perhaps. DfT are not very keen on change.
They have though established the concept in the UK of using flashing amber as "proceed with caution"
I agree fully. There are people that claim "no one understands flashing ambers", to which I always reply "err, pelican crossings?"

Turns like this one for example should be a flashing amber left arrow: https://goo.gl/maps/3z1BtZkbTYNjR5vcA changing only to red when a pedestrian calls a demand for the crossing.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Dan Lockton » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:11

c2R wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 23:21
A few times crossing the road as a pedestrian in America I've felt very vulnerable - here,for example, literally everyone has enormous trucks and they're just not expecting pedestrians to be on foot (despite being between a hotel and a restaurant - there's not even any pavements): https://www.google.com/maps/@37.1346655 ... 312!8i6656
I lived (drove, and walked a lot) in Pennsylvania for a few years, where (at least in Pittsburgh, where I was) the default was that you can turn right on red if it's safe to do so, unless there's a NO RIGHT TURN ON RED sign. Those signs tended to be at junctions (intersections) where there's less visibility or where the cross-traffic is likely to be going much faster. Sometimes the signs had specific times on them, e.g. NO RIGHT TURN ON RED 7AM-4PM on the sign at the end of my road, which then at some point disappeared (I was never sure if it had been removed intentionally, or just fallen off).

One problem I saw was that because drivers are accustomed to turning right on red without thinking, many drivers (and most cyclists) ignored the NO RIGHT TURN ON RED signs when they did exist, and often took the corner at almost the same speed they would have if it were just a normal bend. Trucks and buses turning right on red can be awful too, as they often swing out into the oncoming traffic to make the turn, safe in the knowledge they won't come off worst in a collision.

But it was often hair-raising as a pedestrian. At some crossings I basically had to cross the road continually glancing back over my left shoulder to check whether there was something coming round the corner without slowing down. Drivers wanting to turn right waiting in a queue where there was a red light for straight ahead but no filter lane would often try and weave around the car in front (who was going straight ahead) e.g. here* to get past them in order to turn right on a red light. That happened to me a couple of times as a driver, as did people behind me (who couldn't see that I was waiting because there was traffic coming from the left) holding down their horns as if I was an idiot for not turning right fast enough on the red. I mean, I suppose I was probably a more cautious driver than they were expecting, but I witnessed many more low-speed traffic accidents in Pittsburgh than I'd ever seen in the UK.

All in all: being able to turn right on red maybe saved me 2 or 3 minutes from my commute when I drove, but introduced so much risk that I would really not recommend it (left on red) being introduced in the UK. Maybe at very low speed junctions cyclists could be allowed to do it (which they often do anyway), but I think it'd introduce too much confusion.

*This particular junction had its own issue—one-way one side, two-way the other, leading to a situation here where drivers would often have a green light but face a No Entry sign which was often ignored, so they would drive straight across and then down the one-way section the wrong way, not realising until thy tried to pull out at the other end across multiple lanes of traffic. They still did it though, to endless horns and gestures.

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by FosseWay » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:36

IMO a red light should be absolute. On the other hand, a red light should only show when it is necessary that the traffic approaching it stop. The US has right turn on red at many junctions partly because such an exception becomes necessary due to the overuse of traffic lights in general there - it's a (suboptimal, in my view) bodge to achieve something of the free-flow characteristics of a roundabout without actually installing one. Of course, it helps that the US road system generally has the space to provide dedicated right turn lanes at many junctions, without which the point of RToR would be moot.

Rather than diluting the meaning of a red light, and permitting a manoeuvre that may conflict with other road users, I would rather see a more dynamic approach to traffic lights. We should make more use of part-time lights, and lights that are in operation should be "smarter" and only give red to a movement if there is conflicting traffic present. In this day and age, we should be able to avoid the situation where you wait through an entire red cycle without anyone actually using a green that would conflict with your intended route.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 22, 2021 13:46

FosseWay wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:36
IMO a red light should be absolute. On the other hand, a red light should only show when it is necessary that the traffic approaching it stop. The US has right turn on red at many junctions partly because such an exception becomes necessary due to the overuse of traffic lights in general there - it's a (suboptimal, in my view) bodge to achieve something of the free-flow characteristics of a roundabout without actually installing one. Of course, it helps that the US road system generally has the space to provide dedicated right turn lanes at many junctions, without which the point of RToR would be moot.

Rather than diluting the meaning of a red light, and permitting a manoeuvre that may conflict with other road users, I would rather see a more dynamic approach to traffic lights. We should make more use of part-time lights, and lights that are in operation should be "smarter" and only give red to a movement if there is conflicting traffic present. In this day and age, we should be able to avoid the situation where you wait through an entire red cycle without anyone actually using a green that would conflict with your intended route.
We used to have part time lights on some roundabouts where the lights only were switched on at peak times but that seems to have fallen out of fashion. Many light controlled junctions work exactly as you suggest such as this one near me.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.52607 ... authuser=0

If there is no vehicle waiting to turn right the turn sequence is skipped. One thing that was initially frustrating was that the sensor for the right turn lane was near the stop line so if motorists stopped more than a foot back from it you could end up missing several cycles , I had to get out and walk up to the car in front more than once to let the driver know - politely I might add.

Another example is in Cambridge at the Grafton Centre car park
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.20721 ... authuser=0

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by exiled » Fri Jan 22, 2021 13:58

Certainly I get the impression that some local governments in North America don't like right on red. This is one of the signs that greets drivers entering the Island of Montreal

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@45.42288 ... 384!8i8192

Probably in large part due to the issues that have been raised above re pedestrian safety which would be hightened in an urban area like Montreal.

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by FosseWay » Fri Jan 22, 2021 14:07

KeithW wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 13:46
Many light controlled junctions work exactly as you suggest ...
Yes, the UK is much better than Sweden with these, probably because pressure of traffic has caused it to deal with unnecessary hold-ups more. But here, a lot of traffic lights for both motor vehicles and cyclists just cycle through in a predetermined way. This coupled with the tendency to sprinkle lights all over the place increased journey times in cities considerably - not just for cars but for buses and cyclists as well.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Big L » Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:18

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:02
They have though established the concept in the UK of using flashing amber as "proceed with caution"
The same as green then !!
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by marconaf » Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:38

Annoying, seems a post got lost?

In terms of my experience as a pedestrian, I didnt have an issue with it at all - vehicles turning through a crossing I was on always seemed cautious and patient. Far more a concern for me was the loss of intuitive “where are vehciles from/to” sense by virtue of opposite side driving. Observing mobility scooter/older people and kids they didnt seem minded either.

I think it comes down to a cultural thing of being prepared to mutually benefit from sharing vs demanding one’s own private space (be it driver or pedestrian). Notably the turn usually gets prohibited at complex junctions, but where there are many pedestrians it is effectively impossible except at quiet times anyway when it is of benefit.

I’d be interested in any statistics however.

In terms of roadcrossing as a ped generally, the jaywalking thing must be very state specific as people and I crossed everywhere. One thing that mitigates against crossing outside of a defined place is the sheer width of US roads, even a housing estate is often comprised of S4/D2s with shoulders! So “popping through a gap” becomes statistically harder due to the time required. Indeed the access road to where we lived was wider than most of the A1!

I found Americans standard of driving poor in terms of spacing (lots of tailgating) and awareness (especially lane awareness) but very good in adherance to rules such as this.

Their S2 overtaking is odd - they dont really speed up to get past as we do, I guess long open & mostly empty roads mean you dont need to historically but I think their head on accident rate is not good.

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:31

marconaf wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 15:38


In terms of roadcrossing as a ped generally, the jaywalking thing must be very state specific as people and I crossed everywhere. One thing that mitigates against crossing outside of a defined place is the sheer width of US roads, even a housing estate is often comprised of S4/D2s with shoulders! So “popping through a gap” becomes statistically harder due to the time required. Indeed the access road to where we lived was wider than most of the A1!

I found Americans standard of driving poor in terms of spacing (lots of tailgating) and awareness (especially lane awareness) but very good in adherance to rules such as this.

Their S2 overtaking is odd - they dont really speed up to get past as we do, I guess long open & mostly empty roads mean you dont need to historically but I think their head on accident rate is not good.
Most motoring law in the USA is very specific as they are set by the State legislature, for example some States allow cyclists on the Interstates !
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Driving styles also vary considerably, Ohio was quite good , New York City appalling , Northern and Southern California are chalk and cheese.

In Columbus Ohio while the main roads in the city centre were D2/S4 in the suburb were I lived S2 was quite normal for side roads and wide S2 for major roads in the estate. What you do notice is the size of the plot of land a house comes with, land is cheap so the spread em out. 1 acre plots are quite normal.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by JohnA14J50 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:43

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 23:08
A red light should be absolute.
Only if a green light is too.

If I have to stop on red, I absolutely should get to go on green.

It is NOT my fault if an inattentive moron tries to cross the road on me.

We need to move away from the attitude that cars are the least important type of traffic.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:49

FosseWay wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 14:07

Yes, the UK is much better than Sweden with these, probably because pressure of traffic has caused it to deal with unnecessary hold-ups more. But here, a lot of traffic lights for both motor vehicles and cyclists just cycle through in a predetermined way. This coupled with the tendency to sprinkle lights all over the place increased journey times in cities considerably - not just for cars but for buses and cyclists as well.
I suppose the most extreme example of that I have seen was in the town of Beatty Nevada (cheap lodging for Death Valley) which had a set of lights (the only ones in town) that worked on a lengthy fixed cycle. The hotel owner reckoned they were basically a money maker for the town council with local cops hitting out of towners with a $100 fine for jumping the red light. They had you both ways as the roads have Stop signs at the intersection as well.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@36.90826 ... authuser=0

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by FosseWay » Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:57

JohnA14J50 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:43
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 23:08
A red light should be absolute.
Only if a green light is too.

If I have to stop on red, I absolutely should get to go on green.

It is NOT my fault if an inattentive moron tries to cross the road on me.

We need to move away from the attitude that cars are the least important type of traffic.
You can't go if there's nowhere to go to - you can't apply the same absolute to green. If your exit from the junction is blocked, tough, unless your car has wings or rotor blades.

As to inattentive morons - no, it's not your fault if one runs a red, and if they hit you then they should face the consequences. Conversely, if you fail to look for obstructions of whatever kind when driving and just plough on regardless, then that in my book counts as being an inattentive moron.

I'm not sure what the status of cars in the traffic pecking order has to do with this - most traffic lights are there to control motorised traffic. If you're stopped at a red, it's generally because other cars have got green.
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by JammyDodge » Fri Jan 22, 2021 17:05

FosseWay wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:57
JohnA14J50 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:43
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 23:08
A red light should be absolute.
Only if a green light is too.

If I have to stop on red, I absolutely should get to go on green.

It is NOT my fault if an inattentive moron tries to cross the road on me.

We need to move away from the attitude that cars are the least important type of traffic.
You can't go if there's nowhere to go to - you can't apply the same absolute to green. If your exit from the junction is blocked, tough, unless your car has wings or rotor blades.

As to inattentive morons - no, it's not your fault if one runs a red, and if they hit you then they should face the consequences. Conversely, if you fail to look for obstructions of whatever kind when driving and just plough on regardless, then that in my book counts as being an inattentive moron.

I'm not sure what the status of cars in the traffic pecking order has to do with this - most traffic lights are there to control motorised traffic. If you're stopped at a red, it's generally because other cars have got green.
And overall, pedestrians and cyclists are at the top of the priority pyramid due to them having little to no protection in the event of a collision with a motorised vehicle
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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by Chris5156 » Fri Jan 22, 2021 17:15

JohnA14J50 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:43
We need to move away from the attitude that cars are the least important type of traffic.
I disagree.

Car drivers (me included) are insulated from the weather inside a nice warm climate-controlled bubble. We are surrounded by protections of every type that will ensure our survival in all but the worst impact with other vehicles or stationary objects of all sizes. We expend almost no effort to move - our cars do all the work for us - and we can move at speeds that outstrip everything else on the road. We are, in other words, the most privileged of road users, and the least affected by any requirement to stop or change course. We also make less efficient use of road space and fuel compared to pretty much anything else.

With all that in mind, why on earth should the movement of cars be prioritised above other road users who might be outdoors suffering the cold and the elements, or who might have to employ significant physical exertion to move, whose top speed will never match ours, whose movement is made considerably harder if their forward momentum is interrupted, who might be highly likely to be injured or killed in any sort of collision, even a minor one; or who even might be carried on an animal that is easily frightened or difficult to direct?

Too many drivers already drive like they are the apex predator, expecting all others to move aside. Lights are commonly run through on amber or even the first few seconds of red, horses are passed at speed with revving engines, cyclists are squeezed into the gutter, pedestrians are made to wait or even dart back to the kerb when trying to cross side roads even though they legally have right of way.

I'm a driver myself, I drive to work every day and I drive many other places too because of where I live. But IMO the last thing we need, from a road safety perspective, is anything at all that will encourage car drivers to consider their movement more important than that of anybody else.

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Re: Left Turn on Red

Post by trickstat » Fri Jan 22, 2021 17:33

JohnA14J50 wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 16:43
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 23:08
A red light should be absolute.
Only if a green light is too.

If I have to stop on red, I absolutely should get to go on green.

It is NOT my fault if an inattentive moron tries to cross the road on me.

We need to move away from the attitude that cars are the least important type of traffic.
That would mean that if an old lady, crossing when the green man shows, has something fall out of her bag and stops to bend down and pick it up, you are allowed just to mow her down! Same for the small child holding a parent's hand who drops something precious like a doll or toy.

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