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Old 9th January 2007, 12:05   #31
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I switch off the engine when I see more than 60 secs on the timer. Plus i'll make an urgent phone call if its pending.. so all in all, its a boon for me..
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Old 9th January 2007, 12:30   #32
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They are a good idea.
If timer is more than 50 seconds and I have to go straight, on some roads I take left and then take U and again take left. Saves waiting at the signal and I dont have to brake any rules too.
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Old 9th January 2007, 12:51   #33
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Originally Posted by tsk1979
If timer is more than 50 seconds and I have to go straight, on some roads I take left and then take U and again take left. Saves waiting at the signal and I dont have to brake any rules too.
Actually you could be breaking a couple of rules there. When you take a left, you would be obstructing traffic that are coming onto that road (unless it is a free left). And then when you take that U (if at all there is a legal U so close to the signal), you would be obstructing traffic on that road that could be having a green signal. Here in Chennai, cops look out for guys that do this.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 9th January 2007 at 12:56.
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Old 9th January 2007, 12:52   #34
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Timers are indeed a good idea. They give you an idea of how long you need to wait. If you know that in your regular route at peak hours each signal will take say, 180 seconds then you can plan any alternate route to reach your detination.

And if you are in a new city or new place it will be even more helpful and help you wait with patience.

But there are always people who are in a hurry and try to honk and put pressure on the vehicles in the front row. They wont change.

Technology is welcome and it has to be used correctl and consistently.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:06   #35
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Also helps me decide what I'm going to do when I approach a signal - gun the engine, continue at my leisurely breakneck pace, or simply stand on the brakes & hope the moron behind me doesn't turn my sedan into a hatchback.
That is an important advantage with timers. The guy behind can also see the timer and know that you are about to brake (if, say, there is less than 5 secs left in the timer). Another point is that once you see the signal is green and with plenty of time left in the timer, you do not need to keep watching the signal. You can concentrate on the road and cross the junction in peace. Often the signal becomes invisible in heavy traffic just as you are about to cross; it has happened to me and the cops caught me once in Mumbai following through behind a taxi.

My philosophy is when the information is available and when the technology is available to display it, use it; it can only help. No point in denying it to road users, which is the equivalent of sticking your head into the sand. Punish those who misuse this info and endanger others, do not punish the majority of legal road users because of a few errant ones.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:13   #36
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Signals or traffic lights have become redundant in India, why discuss if timers are a boon or bane? India is the most mature and educated country in the world because nowadays drivers deciide if they want to wait at a red light and if they do decide to wait, they have the power to decide how long they will wait! Everday I see drivers drive through without a care in the world through red lights with the timers still counting at 50 seconds and this happens at MAJOR INTERSECTIOS and in BROAD DAYLIGHT. And this is done by 2 wheelers, private taxis, trucks, public transit buses, autorikshaws , taxis and private cars. The attitude of the people here is sick. We have turned into a barbaric society.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:13   #37
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Actually you could be breaking a couple of rules there. When you take a left, you would be obstructing traffic that are coming onto that road (unless it is a free left). And then when you take that U (if at all there is a legal U so close to the signal), you would be obstructing traffic on that road that could be having a green signal. Here in Chennai, cops look out for guys that do this.
Its a free left, and the U is a legal U. I do this when side road is empty. In noida even when main road is full of traffic the side roads are empty.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:18   #38
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Actually you could be breaking a couple of rules there. When you take a left, you would be obstructing traffic that are coming onto that road (unless it is a free left).
In the Delhi & NCR area all Left turns are free unless specified otherwise.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:33   #39
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
... If timer is more than 50 seconds and I have to go straight, on some roads I take left and then take U and again take left. Saves waiting at the signal and I dont have to brake any rules too.
As supremebaleno pointed out, you could be breaking rules.

What's the tearing hurry anyway? If you've got to get somewhere important, simply leave a bit earlier so you can get there in peace...

Sometimes, stop to smell the roses, my friend... (actually exhaust gas, but whattheheck!)
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:35   #40
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
You are right in a way. If there is the orange signal between red and green, then the timer is not really required.
I don't think this is true. You are supposed to stop when you get the amber signal, and keep moving only when the signal is green. So as long as you are *behind* the signal lights, there is no difference between amber and red. The amber signal is provided to give time for those who have already crossed the signal and are in transit (i.e. those who are *ahead* of the signal, but have not crossed the junction), to get past the junction before giving the green signal for those who cross into their path. It is really not necessary; you might as well keep the signal red and then change it to green after providing enough time for those who are in transit to get past the junction.

Maybe those who have already crossed the signal light and are in transit will get a warning when they see the amber signal on the cross-road; that means that the light is about to turn green in the cross road and they better move fast. But I don't think most people would loiter at the junction once they are past the signal lights. And a change from red to amber will give you an indication that the light is about to turn green, so get ready. But a timer is that much more precise and better in this respect.

Last edited by rks : 9th January 2007 at 13:51.
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Old 9th January 2007, 13:44   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
They are a good idea.
If timer is more than 50 seconds and I have to go straight, on some roads I take left and then take U and again take left. Saves waiting at the signal and I dont have to brake any rules too.
are you saying that you do this in your car ? most likely in the bike. i would strongly advise you not to do that. even in a bike, thats dangerous. when you are on the center/right lane, you suddenly pop off into the left lane, turn left & immediately take a U & jump to the left again & then turn left. whew !!! i dont think the precious few seconds you save are really worth the risk (for you & people around you).

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In the Delhi & NCR area all Left turns are free unless specified otherwise.
i think that is the rule everywhere in the country.
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Old 9th January 2007, 14:06   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elf
As supremebaleno pointed out, you could be breaking rules.
Yes, even if the left is a free left, taking the U turn comes with its share of problems (as esteem_lover mentioned) . I used to do the same at times till I read somewhere that it is wrong. Unfortunately can't find the source of the information now.

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Originally Posted by rks
you might as well keep the signal red and then change it to green after providing enough time for those who are in transit to get past the junction.
This brings into play the "surprise" factor for motorists waiting at the signal. They are staring into red and without any warning the signal is green. People fumble with the kickstarters / ignition etc, honking starts and there is chaos. The amber/orange light eliminates all this. The duration between red-amber-green gives time for motorists to get ready to roll. Sort of like a "get set" signal. Same while approaching a signal. If I am approaching a junction with green signal for me, and see it becoming amber, I can stop safely. Imagine it turning red without any warning.

World over people use only red-amber-green without any timers. Timers do provide advantages, but might not be applicable in say the US, where I have seen people park the car at the hotel reception with engine running, rush to the front office, do their business and come back after anything between 1-15 mins. All this time the engine is running and if they do not bother in this case, will they bother to switch off at a signal for a few seconds? Naah, they would rather rush their troops to the Middle East for getting some cheap oil to fund their extravagance.

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i think that is the rule everywhere in the country.
Yes, you are right.
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Old 9th January 2007, 14:16   #43
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Yes, even if the left is a free left, taking the U turn comes with its share of problems (as esteem_lover mentioned) . I used to do the same at times till I read somewhere that it is wrong. Unfortunately can't find the source of the information now.

Imagine it turning red without any warning.

World over people use only red-amber-green without any timers. Timers do provide advantages, but might not be applicable in say the US, where I have seen people park the car at the hotel reception with engine running, rush to the front office, do their business and come back after anything between 1-15 mins. All this time the engine is running and if they do not bother in this case, will they bother to switch off at a signal for a few seconds? Naah, they would rather rush their troops to the Middle East for getting some cheap oil to fund their extravagance.

Yes, you are right.
I agree with you RED-AMBER-GREEN and reverse is helpful, but I can not quite agree with observation leaving the engine on for 1-15 mins.

BTW I do not support their rushing troops to middle east or whereever, but guys in states where it gets really cold do that. I have heard people leaving engines on through their shopping and at movie theaters in Canada. I dont think even americans can afford to do that now, I heard its close to $6 per gallon now a days.

Coming to pollution perspective, talk about those vehicles that leave clouds of smoke leaving people behind to get coughing and suffocated. What percentage of drivers in India turn off their engine at intersections when the timer shows more than 30secs or 45 secs ? Its very less.
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Old 9th January 2007, 14:52   #44
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If I am approaching a junction with green signal for me, and see it becoming amber, I can stop safely. Imagine it turning red without any warning.
Operationally it makes no difference in the sense that you are supposed to stop anyway, whether red or amber. So the guy ahead of you may stop suddenly when the light turns from green to amber without any warning, and you may find yourself having to brake hard, whereas a timer will give you advance warning. It is another matter that most people do not stop for amber and even for the first few seconds of red in our country.

The amber can be useful if you find yourself unable to stop for various reasons and *know* that you have cut the amber. Then you know that to cross safely, you better get a move on, as the cross road is about to get the green signal. I think a timer is better here too, but on the other hand, the more sophisticated the electronic gizmos, the more difiicult they are to maintain, especially in Indian conditions (high humidity, heat, vandalism due to poor security, lethargy, etc.).
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Old 9th January 2007, 14:52   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreenivass
but guys in states where it gets really cold do that. I have heard people leaving engines on through their shopping and at movie theaters in Canada. I dont think even americans can afford to do that now, I heard its close to $6 per gallon now a days.
My observation was at Atlanta, which during summer is almost Chennai-like. I do agree that at places where it is really cold, there might be a rationale to leaving the engines on.

6$ a gallon ? No way. If that was the case, the Americans will make hell for their leaders. I think it is around 2-3$ now in Atlanta.
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