Compilation of Florida drivers discovering red lights are not optional


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/28/compilation-of-florida-drivers.html


#2

You left out a significant Florida factor: the multitude of elderly “headless drivers”* who are allowed by the state to keep their licenses despite poor eyesight, dementia, and other attention-impairing ailments.

[* to understand, pantomime driving a car where the steering wheel is a foot higher than it normally is]


#3

My wife is from Florida and we went down there last year to see her family. She had forgotten how aggressive the drivers were and I was amazed that there weren’t accidents all over the place. Scary place indeed if you weren’t born there.


#4

This is what could be used to push self driving cars. Just tell people that it would let Grandma go out, but she wouldn’t be in control. If the elderly person really wants to drive, put on fake steering wheel on the dash that doesn’t connect to anything and just spins. Let them turn it all they want while the car does the actual work.


#5

TX is in the top 10. People here are terrible. An intersection near my house has a street with a speed limit of 60 that coming onto a light with a hill on one side and a curve on the other with a high school around a corner. There’s a fresh wreath on a corner every month or so. When roads flood things get really bad.


#6

I betcha texting without a hands-free device has a lot to do with some of these.


#7

That situation is the result of municipal policy as it is of awful drivers. When I hear stories like yours, or when I drive on L.A. streets where traffic-light timing has been relegated to the same level of official neglect as the potholed roads, I’m reminded of why Jane Jacobs had such a low opinion of so-called “traffic engineers”:

Given this enviable professional background [of engineers in general], plus the extreme tendency of North Americans to admire scientific achievement and give it the benefit of the doubt, it is little wonder that traffic engineers have been trusted to do pretty much as they please, and that departments of public works have gratefully accepted and followed their recommendations for design and specifications of streets and roads.

In what traffic engineers have chosen to do and have recommended, they have abandoned and betrayed science as it is understood. “Engineering” also has an opprobrious connotation of manipulation without regard for truth, as in “engineering consensus,” or “It looked spontaneous, but it was engineered.” It is popularly assumed that when universities give science degrees in traffic engineering, as they do, they are recognizing aboveboard expert knowledge. But they aren’t. They are perpetrating a fraud upon students and upon the public when they award credentials in this supposed expertise.


#8

There’s also a fair number of folks who come from countries that don’t enforce things like driver’s ed. and licensing. They just figure that they (or their parents) never had to get a license back home, so why should they bother now? After all, isn’t learning to drive just knowing how to (kind of) operate the car? (Admittedly, this last line seems to apply nationwide.)


#9

Dallas here. There really should not be a red light on a 60 mph road.


#10

There are no traffic “engineers” here where I live (Nashville). If there are, they don’t seem to get the concept of helping traffic flow rather than causing it to slow down. To give them the benefit of the doubt, the way the roads are laid out here does suck.


#11

Still not nearly as crazy as trying to drive in Russia. Every time I’ve driven in Moscow I have seen at least three major crashes.


#12

Not to excuse any of these, but in a large proportion (7) of these examples the traffic lights are set horizontal rather than vertical. I’m wondering if this orientation contributes in some way. Perhaps the shape blends into the support pole background a bit. The horizontal configuration is also somewhat rarer in my admittedly narrow experience and might be so for out-of-town drivers.

It might also be a perspective thing but do some of these lights also appear rather high? As you approach an intersection, control lights that are higher pass out of your ‘field of attention’ sooner.


#13

It’s a farm road that got mostly swallowed by growth but somehow never got updated to reflect new realities. It’s right on the edge between Travis county (Austin proper) and Williamson county (shitkicker), and I’m pretty sure the WilCo people just don’t care about seeing Austin getting hurt.


#14

It’d be interesting to see accident data correlating to the release of Pokémon Go.


#15

Banning traffic signals from 60 MPH thoroughfares would deprive a lot of counties and small towns throughout Texas and the rest of the south of a major revenue source. How else are they supposed to raise money to maintain local law enforcement? Taxes?


#16

imagine what with snow ice …and blizzard


#17


#18

The traffic engineer I’ve been in the same room with thinks traffic engineering should be used to slow down the flow of traffic. His shenanigans helped turn my neighborhood into an obstacle course with pedestrians dodging cars and cars dodging the obstacle course.

In fairness to him, if we decrease our top speed, allow more space between cars, and come to a full stop less often, traffic will flow smoother and we’ll all get home sooner. Bottlenecking traffic is not the same thing.

I’m sure the main instigator and the traffic engineer are the only ones surprised the kids, dog walkers, cyclists, and other people not-in-a-car are forced closer to the pointlessly weaving cars and have to jump into bushes, mud, and dog poop to avoid getting run over.


#19

After reading about the president-elects new shadow cabinet I dispute the basic premise here.

From an outside perspective the USA is among those countries.


#20

Strangely Cairo has it figured out. Nothing quite like a mix of buses, mercedes, donkey carts, pedestrians, motorcycles, no lanes, no lights, and it just seems to flow. Admittedly foreigners are not allowed to drive. Thank Jeebus.