Traffic lights serve very important safety roles. However, they can also sometimes be frustrating for drivers.
Such frustration can be particularly common when traffic light systems are inefficient, such as not being well-timed given the traffic on the roads they are on. Frustration over inefficient traffic lights may leave some drivers tempted to disobey signals. Drivers illegally entering intersections on red lights can significantly gum up traffic. It can also create major risks of multi-vehicle collisions occurring or pedestrians getting hit.
So, how efficient traffic light systems are is a very important issue.
The Bay Area is no stranger to complaints about inefficient traffic lights. Efforts are being taken in several cities in the area to implement smarter traffic light systems. These improvement efforts include things such as modernizing control centers and systems and implementing measures to make traffic light systems more adaptive to changing conditions. These projects are receiving funding through federal grants distributed through the Innovative Deployments to Enhance Arterials initiative.
It will be interesting to see how such projects go and if they end up leading to improved safety and efficiency at Bay Area intersections.
Of course, whatever the current efficiency level of a given traffic light system, it is critical for drivers to obey its signals. Motorists should take care to not let frustration or other strong emotions cloud their judgment and lead to them taking actions that endanger others, such as running red lights.
When people are harmed by drivers who have disobeyed traffic lights, how the pursuit of fair compensation goes for such crash victims can have major implications for their future.