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Old 08-05-2017, 01:01 PM   #1
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Traffic Lights?

The local traffic lights have variable timings. And then there are lights you have never encountered before.
My question is, what is the best way to approach a green light?
If a light is red I hang back, hoping it will change, but I keep getting caught out on green lights, especially if they are already green when they first come into view. I never know whether to keep my speed up, hoping to reach them before they change, or slow down, expecting them to go red before I get there. I seem to make the wrong guess more often than I make the right one. I slow down, expecting them to change but they don't. But just before I reach them they do! If I had just kept going, when first I saw them, I'd have breezed through. Or I don't slow, then have to brake, wasting inertia and wasting fuel. Short of blowing off red lights I have no option.
Is there a technique for green lights? What do you experienced guys do?
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Old 08-05-2017, 05:35 PM   #2
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Best and slowest way to insure you waste the least inertia, assume every one will nail you at the precisely terrible instant. I have one light at the end of a 55 mph stretch of road. It is triggered by cars leaving the Interstate, but you can't see the cars until its to late.

When I first see it and its red, that's my best hope, since it can change green anytime but no matter when I have the time to catch it green.

When its green its like an inertia hand grenade. I just start coasting for the .3 mile praying someone does not hit the trigger at the last second. It is probably the light I go through yellow more than any other.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:23 AM   #3
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That is pretty much what I do too. When I did my PCV driver training the instructor always said "a green light is only going to change in one direction", and with a bus load of passengers you cannot do sudden stops.
I think the best way to avoid red lights is to plan a route to minimise them. When I take my wife to her work I have a choice of routes. One has two sets of lights (one set on going and returning). The other has eight sets in the one direction. Guess what route I choose.
Some light are red for a fair spell, so if I get caught by them I just switch off and wait for the red and amber before restarting.
Any one else have an opinion?
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Old 08-06-2017, 02:07 AM   #4
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Move to Wales, similar to Scotland only smaller. Don't even know where my nearest set of traffic lights are
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:33 AM   #5
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We have roads here that I pedalled on a Schwinn 10 speed as a deserted 2 lane road over 50 years ago. Now there are 5-7 lanes across times 8, so over 40 lanes of traffic at one intersection. A single cycle of all the lights takes 2.5 minutes. One spot sees 85,000 cars over it daily in summertime.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:10 AM   #6
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Big towns hereabouts have at least one set of traffic lights but most small town only have light controlled pedestrian crossings. They are green all the time, unless someone presses the button, and you can see and anticipate that.
We have one set of lights that stays red for 3 minutes, irrespective of the time of day. I hit them at 06:30, every week day, and if they change to red as I reach them I just turn the ignition off. The annoying thing is you can sit there and no other vehicles pass through!
We also have three sets of four way lights that only allow one way to move at a time. They are an absolute nightmare and best avoided, if possible. One set is right next to a petrol station, and since they were installed his takings have fallen by 50%. Drivers just don't go there any more, if they can avoid them.
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