There’s been quite a lot of publicity lately to do with the road toll, and in particular cyclists being injured or worse being killed through collisions with cars, trucks, buses and similar. One of the latest to hit the headlines, while very sad raised a very important issue, that of cyclists running red lights. It seems the truck that was involved in the tragedy was legally progressing with the lights and the cyclist rode through his red.
Coincidentally (or not) a survey had been carried out in Auckland on this very issue (and you can read the findings here). It was brought to my attention by a tweet where the person highlighted the fact that none of the recommendations had been acted on, and while I don’t give a rat’s arse about what happens in Auckland the issue of roads in NZ having to be shared by motorists and cyclists alike is something that I think every New Zealander should be concerned about.
That there seems to have been no action taken to make the roads a safer place for everyone using them (and don’t get me started on the cattle called ‘pedestrians’) is concerning, and it struck me that one of the simplest solutions to the matter of cyclists at intersections and their apparently fairly common practice of jumping the light change to get a head-start on cars, trucks, buses and other motorised vehicles would be to re-program the lights’ operations so that there is an ‘amber-before-green‘ option, and this amber is the signal for cyclists (only) to proceed. 5 seconds later (say) the light turns green and the vehicles proceed through an intersection that’s been cleared of cycles.
I’m no expert but it strikes me that all it would take is for the computer programme to be tweeked to introduce the amber-before-green option, wouldn’t it? No wiring, no new gear, no engineering, just a few lines of html!