Friday, December 08, 2006

Oh yeah, it's for your own good...

Ha, i got carried away in the last post and wandered off topic before i even got started on the topic i had intended to write about. The post was supposed to be about traffic signals. Specifically, about the red left turn arrow.

There are very few times when that red arrow is necessary. The protected left turn--indicated by the green left turn arrow--serves a useful purpose by allowing left turns at intersections that may otherwise be so busy that there would be very few opportunities to make the turn without it. The red arrow however, cannot claim such usefulness.

How many times have you sat at an intersection, with a green light for straight-through traffic, and no oncoming traffic, held captive by that devil-spawn red arrow? There's no danger in ignoring it and proceeding to make a left turn as if you were at a intersection that did not have a protected turn signal. If my judgement can be trusted to allow me to make a left turn when there is room for me at one intersection, then why not at another?

At one time it probably could have been argued that the red arrow was present only in intersections that were particularly busy, complicated or dangerous; but that is not the case now. The red arrow now works its foul magic at countless intersections, many of them very simple.

On a precious few occasions, i've been witness to the work of a traffic engineer with a touch of sense who decided that while the green arrow is useful to allow breaks for turning traffic, the red arrow is not needed. Instead, this saint of traffic control decided that a blinking yellow arrow would be sufficient to warn turners that they should watch for oncoming traffic, but may proceed if the path is clear.

What's wrong with that? Why isn't every intersection like that?! I'll tell you why, it's because the DMV and the police and anyone who has anything to do with creating or enforcing road/traffic laws hates me. For that i apologize to the rest of you, but my civil disobedience has yet to break down the laws. Don't worry though, i'll keep speeding and busting through red arrows, as is my duty as a sensible citizen.

In fact, that duty is all of ours! I call to each of you, next time you're sitting at a red arrow, and there is more than enough space to make your turn, even at grandma in her oldsmobile pace, go for it! If a cop hassles you, ask who was in danger as a result of your actions, and ask him who you can write to about such needless impediments to the progress of man kind.

After all, Adam Corolla does it, so why shouldn't you?

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