The Red Light for Red Light Changes

Photo credit: William Warby

Have you ever stopped to wonder about why traffic lights don’t seem to evolve over the years?

Opal Fruits have inexplicably become Starburst, sauces have become salsas and even my football club has turned match day in a softer, fluffier experience than it used to be. And yet those old traffic lights keep on blinking red, amber and green in the same order year after year.

If you have driven abroad you will have seen that traffic lights don’t always work the same way all over the world. While the design is usually pretty similar there are some local differences which take a bit of getting used to.

So is it time to make a change in the UK? No it jolly well isn’t according to a chap called Mike Penning. What would he know about it anyway? Ah, he’s the Roads Minister, is he? He says that the UK traffic light system does what it “says on the tin” although he said that the Government would keep an “open mind” about changes in the future.

Cheeky Car Drivers

This was part of a debate with the House of Common Transport Committee about a proposal for allowing cyclists to turn left at a red light. The idea was abandoned because it was felt that car drivers would cheekily try and do the same thing as the cyclists. I know I would if I was given half the chance.

Mr Penning then said that cycling was safe but that many people thought that it was unsafe. Personally I have always thought it was extremely dangerous but this idea is probably coloured by the fact that I skinned my knee when I fell off my Chopper. Served me right for trying to do a bunny hop but at least I wasn’t going through a blooming red light at the time.

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