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Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Letter to the editor: Night lights

October 3, 2012

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To the editor:

I have an issue regarding the way people obey the traffic lights at night — or lack thereof. Late at night (around 11 p.m.) most stoplights in town will flash. If lights flash red, drivers must stop then proceed with caution. If they flash yellow, drivers must slow down and proceed with caution. It’s the law.

I’ve seen countless drivers speed on through the yellow and even red flashing lights at night as if it’s a regular daytime green light. It’s dangerous. If everyone sped through those lights, there would be accidents everywhere.

Drivers, please obey the traffic laws. If you see someone slow down or stop at an intersection with flashing stoplights, get a clue and slow down yourself. Keep everyone safe at night.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey what about the drivers on the interstates or K-10 entering off the ramps who obviously believe they have the right of way? Where did they learn this?

What about the drivers who believe "tailgating" is safe and approved by state law? Where did they learn this?

Perhaps drivers should receive testing at ages 17, 19,21,25,31,35,38,43,53,63,68,and 73?

How much are the fines for violating traffic signals late at night?

Abdu Omar 2 years, 2 months ago

They are supposed to merge and the drivers on the highway are supposed to move over or slow down to let them in. Especially on Iowa going to 23rd street in Lawrence. Most drivers STOP. There is a yield sign there not a stop sign and there is still another 500 feet in from of the Hobby Lobby to merge. Merge folks, do not stop. If the drivers already on 23rd won't let you in, they are at fault.

bad_dog 2 years, 2 months ago

No, the yield sign means those in that lane are required to yield to traffic in the lanes to which they wish to merge. What the heck does the word "Yield" mean to you?

I typically move over as a courtesy when possible, but you can't always do that if another car is alongside or passing you. Expecting traffic to yield to a merging car is both dangerous and foolish. The driver of a merging car needs to view and gauge the speed and quantity of traffic and then react accordingly. Do your best to time and position your vehicle to enter the flow as smoothly as possible, within an existing gap. Sometimes it's impossible to do so and one must stop due to traffic volume, but I sure don't expect moving traffic to yield to me.

John Hamm 2 years, 2 months ago

Sorry but as you head out west you'll see that moving left to allow someone to enter is not only "normal" but in some states required. I know in Kansas this isn't the case and the "yield" sign is why. Wounded_soldier is correct about there being an "on-ramp" from North bound Iowa to 23rd St Eastbound. It's ridiculous how many drivers stop there.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Not sure about the laws elsewhere, but as you point out, in this state merging traffic is required to yield. That goes for 23rd and Iowa, as well. If a merging vehicle can't enter the stream of traffic, they are required to stop until they can, although that doesn't need to be as they enter the merge lane.

Rex Hargis 2 years, 2 months ago

Consideration for others should be a prime concern, especially when driving.

bad_dog 2 years, 2 months ago

"Pretty basic driving stuff..."

Yep, Driver's Ed 101 and just common sense, IMHO.

kernal 2 years, 2 months ago

This letter, and comments, indicate once again we need to require that drivers pass a written test before they can renew their license.

hujiko 2 years, 2 months ago

"If they flash yellow, drivers must slow down and proceed with caution."

Um, no. Motorists are supposed to maintain the speed limit when traveling through a flashing yellow signal.

brutus 2 years, 2 months ago

Flunked Driver's Ed didn't you. A flashing yellow light means slow down and proceed with caution.

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey while we are talking lack of driving skills how about when you turn a corner and go to the opposite lane like better than half of Lawrence drivers do-------

brutus 2 years, 2 months ago

That's one of many things people just don't know the rules on or ignore it anyway. Ever notice people don't know whose turn it is at a 4-way stop? We could go on and on........

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

You learn something new every day. For instance, when I read some of the comments above, I learned why there were over 500 car accidents within the city limits of Lawrence within the last two months.

http://police.lawrenceks.org/content/accidents-mapped

And, I've spent a great deal of time driving in California, and I was told that you should always allow someone to enter an Interstate driving lane, and I always do that if possible. But is it the law in California? So, just now, I looked it up in the California Driving handbook and clipped from this webpage:

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/merg_pass.htm

"Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. (Remember that the maximum speed allowed is 65 mph on most freeways.) Do not stop before merging into freeway traffic, unless it is absolutely necessary. Freeway traffic has the right-of-way."

So, it's not the law in California that you let them in. But I do, and in fact, I go a bit further sometimes, and when it's obvious someone is never going to have a chance to get into a lane that is moving, I stop a ways back, flash my headlights, wave my hands, and let all the waiting cars in. I get lots of waves back, and smiles, and the thing that surprises me every time is that the drivers of the cars behind me don't start honking their horns.

They can't get around me anyway, so I don't care, and it doesn't matter because we're very likely to all be waiting at the same stop light later. We're certainly not going to be getting home any later if someone lets them in. I've seen some situations where the drivers would have to wait literally many hours unless someone simply stops and lets them in.

There's something I've thought about a few times. I wonder why it's always called a "stop light", and never a "go light". It must be due to an inherent pessimism.

NotASquishHead 2 years, 2 months ago

From the Kansas law.

(2) Flashing Yellow (Caution Signal). When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.

Doesn't say anything about slowing down. Just using caution.

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