Arizona traffic engineers address safety concerns of new intersection law

Changing timing of traffic signals would discourage drivers from running red lights

Transportation Management News Arizona Capitol Times May 02, 2012
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As a new traffic bill expanding the definition of intersections to include crosswalks is discussed in the Arizona legislature, local traffic engineers say that adjusting the timing of traffic signals would address safety concerns by local police officers.

 

If the bill passes, the proposed changes would allow drivers a small amount of extra space to enter the intersection; ultimately, this would mean fewer drivers would be cited for red light violations.

 

Police officials, however, say that the danger to pedestrians and motorists would be increased since drivers would have more time to enter an intersection. In some cases, they worry that this could encourage drivers who would previously have been cited for running a red light to drive even more recklessly.

 

Traffic engineers in Phoenix and Tucson argue that recalculating the all-red interval — the length of time when all vehicles have a red light — on city traffic signals could limit any potential dangers. The interval is already calculated based on the size of an intersection, so that no drivers are given a green light before all other vehicles have passed through the intersection.

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