Comment 101522

By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted May 22, 2014 at 08:30:38 in reply to Comment 101476

Countdown timers are to the benefit of people on foot, but part of that benefit arises from the information they give to motorists, too. I agree with you about the notion of “sudden yellows.”

Part of the reason that countdown timers reduce accidents is because motorists can see from a distance exactly when a yellow is going to happen, and adjust their speed downward accordingly long before the intersection. This is documented, or at least I’ve read it.

Good drivers probably observe crossing signals for people on foot, and try to use that information to see whether they should start decelerating in anticipation of a red, but the timing of when the ‘red hand’ starts seems to me to be very inconsistent across intersections.

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