I have gripes with traffic lights. For one thing, there are far too many (for traffic calming), and for another thing, pedestrians try to ignore them. They are supposed to wait for the green man crossing signal, right?
Probably the worst is when they press the button to change the signals, but they don’t wait! They jaywalk across the road and THEN the lights change — halting the traffic flow for no reason!!!
And what about cyclists! Are they fish or fowl? They totally ignore traffic lights (and pretty much everything else)!
Everyone tries to skip through the amber, and often snag up the junction, especially at so-called rush-hour.
Ambulances, Police and Fire trucks cannot be bothered with them — they just flash a light and turn on the siren and shoot right through whenever it suits them!
Cars, trucks, vans, lorries, motorbikes and lorries would love to do that in the middle of the night when there are no pedestrians, but they are made to wait at the lights while the green crossing man shows!
I cannot imagine what foreigners think. I have noticed that on the continent all traffic lights are turned off — switched to flashing amber throughout the night from 11pm. Look at the picture above [click to enlarge, as always], notice that there is no left turn (there is a sign or symbol that is internationally recognised and understood for that) — but there are exceptions, and they are given in English — small words printed in a CIRCLE below the no-left-turn sign!
This is patently ridiculous; it is difficult enough for English-speakers to see and read in a traffic queue of five or six car lengths, but for a foreign visitor?
Traffic lights are ugly, annoying and cost the earth. You would think that in this day-and-age we could think up a better, friendlier, cheaper and cleverer way to manage traffic. Personally I can think up several alternatives, and I would bet anyone reading this could dream up something better than the traffic light in a few minutes; it’s far from difficult!
Yes, things are silly, and traffic lights are not making things better!