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Old 01-06-2017, 12:30 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Well, come on. Drivers don't "often" do this - the just do it often on bad driver videos. It's a pretty rare thing, at least where I live and from what I've seen.
Are there any official nation-wide figures for this , rather than just your observations from where you live ?

It may not happen 'often', but when it does happen someone's life may be significantly degraded or even ended. I would make these videos required viewing for all would-be drivers or convicted driving offenders, so they can see just how easily an accident can be caused by bad driving - either their own or someone else's.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:31 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Well, come on. Drivers don't "often" do this - the just do it often on bad driver videos. It's a pretty rare thing, at least where I live and from what I've seen. I mean, it's not like we're those mofos in Russia who drive like every last one of them was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. At least not yet, but if we keep cozying up to the Kremlin, we might begin to mimic their driving, too.
Rare? I would comfortably wager that I see people going through red lights at least twice a day. And, for the most part, my daily travels consist of a 20 minute ride each way to and from work and when I go out at lunchtime. Most of the red light runners are when I'm out at midday.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:45 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Do people run red lights exercising no caution whatsoever, and does it happen often? Does a bear shit in the woods, and how often does said defecation take place?

The flashing red lights or lights being out altogether is the only time that you are legally allowed to do it in a vehicle. As people have said, some towns do that very late at night. I usually encounter that after a storm has knocked out power and during construction. Also, as people have stated, you then treat it as a stop sign. There is no clause that says, "I don't feel like following the law today, so I'm just going to run this light."

I've seen some godawful accidents caused by red light runners. I've also had to take extreme evasive measures as drivers shot through a solid red light as I was approaching a green light. The usual cause was distraction, most often in the form of a cell phone pinned to their head.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:57 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Are there any official nation-wide figures for this , rather than just your observations from where you live ?

It may not happen 'often', but when it does happen someone's life may be significantly degraded or even ended. I would make these videos required viewing for all would-be drivers or convicted driving offenders, so they can see just how easily an accident can be caused by bad driving - either their own or someone else's.
Difficult as it may be to believe, Arkady, the nation that brilliantly elected a completely inexperienced nincompoop fascist for President is filled with ungodly bad drivers who think they are tremendously skilled. Go figure.

eta: Here's a scary figure. About 85% of American drivers rate themselves as "above average" or better. Worse: Folks I've known who study this stuff swear the drivers who are actually good rate themselves lower.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:18 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Are there any official nation-wide figures for this , rather than just your observations from where you live ?

It may not happen 'often', but when it does happen someone's life may be significantly degraded or even ended. I would make these videos required viewing for all would-be drivers or convicted driving offenders, so they can see just how easily an accident can be caused by bad driving - either their own or someone else's.
I found this on a quick search. I'm not sure if running a red counts as "failure to yield" or "reckless driving" or some other category.

Also, what the hell, Pennsylvania?

The cause of the most fatal car crashes - Business Insider
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:34 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arkady Arkright View Post
Are there any official nation-wide figures for this , rather than just your observations from where you live ?

It may not happen 'often', but when it does happen someone's life may be significantly degraded or even ended. I would make these videos required viewing for all would-be drivers or convicted driving offenders, so they can see just how easily an accident can be caused by bad driving - either their own or someone else's.
Videos of that nature are shown to teenagers if they take a driver's prep class (used to be required, but not sure if still is) prior to taking their learner's permit test.

IIRC that is the only time it happens, unless someone is required by law to take a driver safety class after they have violated some law or other. Some people also take those classes to lower their insurance rate. Nor do I think it applies to folks over the age of 18 who can just go to the DMV and take the written test, followed up by the actual driver's test, after a set amount of time.

Most folks here learn and take those tests when they are teenagers and, unless they've done some pretty bad driving, it is the last they see of it. We renew our driver's licenses every 4 yrs here (might be different for other states) and the only exam which takes place is a visual exam. The other exception is those who apply for a special permit for different classes of driving such as Class A or Class B. (OTR trucks, large vehicles, and passenger-carrying vehicles). There is also one for motorcycles, but I forget what class that falls under. They just also have to take a different permit and driver's test.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:21 PM   #32 (permalink)
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You see a lot of bad behavior at 4way stops in my neighborhood... Rolling-right-turns are practically a constant.

Then there's the jumpers who act like it's their turn to go through just because they already came to a full stop at the stop line already, since the car ahead of them inched past it while they were waiting their turn.

Makes being a pedestrian ... exciting.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:29 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I'd just like to emphasise that I am in no way suggesting that American drivers are any worse from those of any other country*, I just wanted to understand the local stop-light regulations.

*OTOH, I *have* seen the equivalent Russian videos...
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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This law, while not completely applicable to red light running is the general guideline.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:32 PM   #35 (permalink)
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There's a light around the corner from my house that's a really bad spot for people flying through on red. I'll creep up and even after it turns green on my side I'll wait a few seconds and really *look* (there's a wooded area on one side blocking the view). Sometimes, a good 5-10 seconds after the light's turned someone roars through the red. Scared the shit out of me the first time it happened. And, odds are, someone will probably be killed there sooner or later.

Tailgating is a HUGE (yuge!) problem here too. I fucking hate it so much when people ride my bumper.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:35 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I stop.

If I'm at an intersection miles from the arse end of nowhere on the high plains and I can easily see at a glance there's literally not a single other car around for freaking miles, I will sit there and wait for that light to turn green.

I've been in a thankfully minor wreck, it was my fault, and it was because I rolled a sign and got hit by a car that I will swear until my dying day I never saw coming even though I looked, or thought I did. That's not going to happen again, ever.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:37 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I found this on a quick search. I'm not sure if running a red counts as "failure to yield" or "reckless driving" or some other category.

Also, what the hell, Pennsylvania?

The cause of the most fatal car crashes - Business Insider
Interstate 81 from Wilkes Barre to almost the NY line is the worst for wrong way drivers.

It's a recent thing, last year or two but at least once a week there is a wrong way driver and absolutely nobody can figure out where the hell they are coming from. They think sometimes it's a teen-prank thing, sorta like an initiation and other times, it's bad GPS's or drunk/high people. In other words...they have not a clue what's causing it suddenly.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:42 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I found this on a quick search. I'm not sure if running a red counts as "failure to yield" or "reckless driving" or some other category.
Yeah I think they call any incident where the actor didn't have right-of-way a "failure to yield" violation. I see that phrase all the time in the blotters.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:46 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Interstate 81 from Wilkes Barre to almost the NY line is the worst for wrong way drivers.

It's a recent thing, last year or two but at least once a week there is a wrong way driver and absolutely nobody can figure out where the hell they are coming from. They think sometimes it's a teen-prank thing, sorta like an initiation and other times, it's bad GPS's or drunk/high people. In other words...they have not a clue what's causing it suddenly.
You've all heard that joke, right?

An old woman has the tv on and hears a report about a crazy driver going the wrong way down the freeway near the store her husband went an hour ago. She calls him up to alert him.

"Be careful, Henry, some maniac is driving the wrong way down the freeway."

"One guy?" he says. "They're ALL going the wrong way!"

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Old 01-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Asher Bertrand View Post
I found this on a quick search. I'm not sure if running a red counts as "failure to yield" or "reckless driving" or some other category.

Also, what the hell, Pennsylvania?

The cause of the most fatal car crashes - Business Insider
Oh, yeah. Because, apparently, it's legal to pass on a solid yellow line in PA, as long as you have a 'clear view' ahead, if you feel the person in front of you is going too far below the speed limit. Now, while that is probably because no one really wants to get stuck behind a horse and buggy because you're on a single lane, double yellow line road, many people take that as complete permission to pass anyone, any time, anywhere, if they feel like it.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:41 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Difficult as it may be to believe, Arkady, the nation that brilliantly elected a completely inexperienced nincompoop fascist for President is filled with ungodly bad drivers who think they are tremendously skilled. Go figure.
Yep. I call them everybody but me.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:33 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I'd be curious to know what region of the country this is. Around here, it just doesn't happen as a rule. When it does, there's finger-wagging and social shaming. Maybe even shunning.
This was about (redacted) years ago but it can only have gotten worse in the interim, but at one time I would spend a few weeks in Los Angeles for training classes now and then. I always approached driving with the same plan: I'm just going to stay in the right lane, take what it gives me, and keep out of the way of these fools.

By the time I had been there a week I would be right out there with the rest of them, ducking and dodging, sliding around corners, teeth clenched and head on a swivel.

One thing I got in the habit of doing was jumping the green if I happened to be first in line at a red light. I'd watch the lights for the crossing lane go from green to yellow and get ready. The instant I saw the yellow light wink out I'd punch it. I'd noticed that there was a built in delay between the light for one direction turning red and the crossing direction turning green so I exploited that delay: theory being they'd all have stopped on the red so I was free to go even though my light hadn't turned green yet.

That lasted until I went to visit friends in Hollywood over the weekend. One of my friends noticed me doing that a couple of times and suggested it was not a sound idea. He explained that a fair number of people had gotten familiar with that delayed color change, so it would no be at all unexpected to find a car hurtling through the intersection from the cross-street, secure in the knowledge that for me, the light was still red.

I stopped doing that.

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Old 01-07-2017, 06:28 AM   #43 (permalink)
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I found this on a quick search. I'm not sure if running a red counts as "failure to yield" or "reckless driving" or some other category.
[...]
failurre to yeild involves other vehicles or pedestrians, reckless driving can apply, but there is a separate citation for failure to stop in most jurisdictions... sometimes it's generalized to "failure to obey traffic signs"

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Oh, yeah. Because, apparently, it's legal to pass on a solid yellow line in PA, as long as you have a 'clear view' ahead, if you feel the person in front of you is going too far below the speed limit. Now, while that is probably because no one really wants to get stuck behind a horse and buggy [...]
farm equipment is also another headache... tractors in the ass end of nowhere especially. (And if you're driving that tractor, show some courtesy and use the shoulder as much as possible)


I've been in exactly 4 accidents in my life. two as a passenger (my mother on ice mounted a lamp post, my grandfather rear ended at the bottom of an on ramp sitting in traffic), and two as a driver (rear ended in a parking lot, blow out on a slick and fortunately empty turn, funny story with that, ask me some time). The only close calls I've had are tailgaters and one idiot in a parking lot who decided to walk behind me mid exit from a parking space.

And it's not because I'm a 'better' driver that I can get away with the occasional roll through, it's because I only do it when it's safe to do so, which includes at the very least slowing to a speed where you can make that determination. I've never blown through a stop at speed, that would be insane in anything outside of an empty crossing on a salt flat... and even then I'm not 100% sure (too many years of road runner cartoons). if there are building, bushes, or car blocking view, obviously I slow way down, to the point where a drunk, cyclist, or child can't get in front of me before I can stop, let alone a car. (and if you don't think those are faster, you've never seen a 3yo wander out from behind a parked car... fucker might as well have teleported)
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:58 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah. Because, apparently, it's legal to pass on a solid yellow line in PA, as long as you have a 'clear view' ahead, if you feel the person in front of you is going too far below the speed limit. Now, while that is probably because no one really wants to get stuck behind a horse and buggy because you're on a single lane, double yellow line road, many people take that as complete permission to pass anyone, any time, anywhere, if they feel like it.
I'm not sure how exactly I managed it, but I got stuck on a loop down in Lancaster Area that kept me on circle of roads through Amish country (blaming my navigator--the person, not the GPS).

Anyway, I kept passing the same horse/buggy going the opposite way until I finally ended up behind them about four cars back. Coming up over a hill and wuldntchaknow......all three cars ahead of me decided that was the time pass.

I thought MY area was bad......Lancaster is just insane.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:24 PM   #45 (permalink)
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it's also a safety default for some systems in case of service outage (and also how you're supposed to treat it if they are are completely dead)
People are supposed to stop at dead lights, but rarely seem to. I lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel hit and knocked out power to the entire peninsula for about a week. Almost nobody stopped at the traffic lights that were out, and it created a really dangerous situation. I'm just surprised there weren't a ton of spectacular wrecks during this time!

Frankly, I can't believe traffic signals don't come with battery back-up for when the power fails. With the newer LED lights, they should be able to power a set of traffic signals for at least a week on a good battery.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:28 PM   #46 (permalink)
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I'd be curious to know what region of the country this is. Around here, it just doesn't happen as a rule. When it does, there's finger-wagging and social shaming. Maybe even shunning.
California is terrible when it comes to red-light running. I can sit at an intersection when my light turns green, and watch six or seven cars who had their light turn red from yellow just say "fuck it" and keep on going. I have actually had cars behind me honk at me when I stop at a newly-turned red light. It's nuts out here!
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:39 PM   #47 (permalink)
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There is one particular red light in my area that drivers seem to run constantly, to the point that there is obviously something physical about the location that renders them blind.

The light is on of a major state road that runs through the commercial part of town. The light is intended to give people in a residential neighborhood a crossing where they can get to the other side (a shopping mall). But the cars on the state road just run right through it ALL THE TIME. After the first time I was nearly broadsided, I've been on alert every time I go through that light so I can stop if needed.

My wife and I have a theory about why this happens. The state road curves, so cars come around a bend. I'm guessing that as the drivers' eyes sweep from left to right, a major intersection about a 1/4 mile ahead comes into view first on the horizontal line of vision. Their eyes stay there as they drive forward and they don't look UP to see the stop light of the crossroads light that is much closer, but higher in their field of vision.

The woman who nearly broadsided me actually swerved off the road to avoid hitting me, and I could tell from the outraged expression on her face as she looked back me that she thought I was to blame. From her perspective, my car had darted out into traffic right in front of her. I don't think she ever realized that she had run a red light.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:15 PM   #48 (permalink)
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[...]
Frankly, I can't believe traffic signals don't come with battery back-up for when the power fails. With the newer LED lights, they should be able to power a set of traffic signals for at least a week on a good battery.
some do, but they run down faster than you might think, although I imagine the newer LED ones last significantly longer.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:13 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I tend to stay pretty much within the law at all times, because it only takes a moment for someone's life to change forever. I can't live with that. I also don't let myself get "comfortable" driving or take big risks, besides making a U-turn when I park at home, and driving with a beverage in my hand I can easily put down. It's Allen Shepherd's prayer all the time ("God, please don't let me fuck up").

One case where chronic anxiety helps...
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:22 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I take a more pragmatic view myself... there are cases where the law goes too far, but there are also plenty of cases where the law isn't going to save you, and you have to be the one to go farther
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