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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

NotASquishHead 1 year, 6 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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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 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.

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 6 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-------

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brutus 1 year, 6 months ago

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

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hujiko 1 year, 6 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.

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kernal 1 year, 6 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.

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biggunz 1 year, 6 months ago

Drivers on a highway are not supposed to slow down to let a car merge. They should move to the left if possible, but it is the merging car's responsibility to yield to highway traffic and to merge into traffic safely. Pretty basic driving stuff, how people don't get it is beyond me.

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Rex Hargis 1 year, 6 months ago

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

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 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?

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