Saturday, October 29, 2016

Traffic Light Improvements For the Age of Mobile Communications

I have an issue with traffic lights.

When I'm stuck right behind an inattentive driver at a red light, I get annoyed when the driver doesn't go right after the light turns green.  I get infuriated when the driver waits so long to go that the light turns back to red again before I can get across the intersection.

That's pretty much the only time I use the horn.  And it occurred to me that the traffic light itself should be equipped with its own horn.  It would beep whenever it turns green, relieving other drivers of the effort of doing so.

Inattentive drivers annoy me even when I'm not behind them.  When they remain stopped at a green light while I'm at the red light for the crossing traffic, they cause the signal to take longer to cycle.  The light stays green longer for them and stays red longer for me.  I say aloud, “Go already, so I don't have to stay here forever!”

A few towns have installed traffic light cameras, which take a picture of the license plates of cars that go through red lights.  But I say that these cameras should be used to monitor the faces of drivers who wait at red lights.  Face recognition would be used to determine whether the driver is paying attention to the light, or whether they are reading e-mail or texting.  The light would stay red until the driver's gaze was focused on driving.

What do you think about this?

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