Traffic Lights Are There for a Purpose

Val Mills By Val Mills, 28th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

In some communities running red traffic lights is causing reason for concern.

Traffic Lights Have a Purpose

We all know that feeling, we're in a hurry to get somewhere and as we approach the traffic lights the green turns to orange or yellow. In a split second our brain makes the decision not to slow down, as we should, but to step on it a little and get through before the light tuns red. We see it happening in others all the time. And the problem is becoming worse.

Traffic lights are there for a purpose, to control the flow of traffic and to keep all road users safe. Everyone, traffic and pedestrians, deserve the right to a safe journey. In larger centres we rely on the traffic lights to help us. Ignoring traffic lights can often result in unforunate consequences.

Pedestrians and Traffic

It's not only cars that run the red lights, but pedestrians also put their lives at risk by choosing to not wait when the lights ask them to do so. What these pedestrians fail to understand is that cars move much more quickly than they do. The risk of crossing at the wrong time is not worth it.

Car drivers can get quite impatient when they are in a hurry and do not always consider others as they approach the traffic lights. Pedestrians should not rely on the fact that cars will be stopping and start across the road too soon. It just takes one car to run a red light and the pedestrian's life could be changed in a split second.

Dangers of Running the Red Light

I'm sure New Zealand isn't the only country where running a red light is becoming more common. Peope are starting to take risks and consequently put others at risk because of their impatience.

In one New Zealand city parents ae becoming concerned at the number of cars and other vehicles not slowing down and ignoring the red lights, particularly in one school district, where up to fourteen cars a day have been counted running the red light while children are going to school in the morning.

Traffic lights are there to keep all road users safe and people who are too impatient to think of others may well find their race through life slowed considerably when they have to face up to the consequences of unsafe driving. Apparently, according to one article, running the red light is a top cause of car accidents in the United States.

Orange Means Slow Down and Wait

We should all know and understand why the orange or yellow light is there and what we are supposed to do.

If you're one of those who constantly ignores the warning sign and continues on through, trying to beat the red light, maybe it's time for you to start rethinking your habit, before it is too late.

Other articles by Val Mills:

Planning A Safe Road Trip With Kids
Beginning Walking Tips : Choosing Where to Walk
Rules for Safe Lane Swimming at Your Local Pool
What to Do When Your Batteries Are Flat


Driver Behaviour, Pedestrian Safety, Road Rules, Road Safety, Running Red Lights, Traffic Lights

Meet the author

author avatar Val Mills
Self-published writer, coffee drinker, enjoying life. Also found at and

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Apr 2015 (#)

Needed highlight, thanks Val. This flouting of rules happens more so in less developed countries. Frankly, I too have on occasions been guilty when there was no vehicle in sight and I disregarded the red light to cross the road ending up with mission accomplished but conscience hurt! Orange light means for some - faster, faster! siva

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author avatar Retired
29th Apr 2015 (#)

In the UK some city-centre traffic lights have cameras attached to record the number plates of people who run them at red - a stiff fine and points on your licence will result!

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author avatar Carol Roach
1st May 2015 (#)

yes I think people run the lights all over the world

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author avatar Michellekidwell1977
16th May 2015 (#)

It happens far to often here in the U.S...Now most ities and towns have cameras on the traffic lights...

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author avatar brendamarie
16th May 2015 (#)

most light in the US have cameras now so if people run the lights they will be mailed a ticket.
Congrats on being writer of the day!

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