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Old 7th June 2008, 13:24   #1
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Default Empty junction, signal red - what should you do?

Hi,
I had a scary experience last night which has made me re-think on my driving discipline. I was driving back home and my wife was beside me, mother-in-law and grandmom in the rear seat. This was around 11pm when the roads were quite empty and all the cars were doing around 60 kmph. An Indicab was right in my tail. Now this curve came up right after which there was a traffic signal and it was showing red. I always respect the traffic signals and seeing red I started braking though the junction was clear with no cars from either sides coming up. There were a few 2-wheelers but they seemed to be waiting patiently for us fast cars to pass. All the cars in front of me sped off through the red signal, but I was adamant that I should set some example.

So I braked and gradually came to a halt (much to the shock of the waiting 2-wheelers). But the Indicab behind me wasn't expecting this and thought I too will go through. As I came to a halt I glanced in the left RVM and my heart skipped a beat. The Indicab was losing it trying to brake and decided to steer away rather. And thankfully, he finally made it and was just an inch away from my car's rear as he passed through, glaring at me.

I was shocked and very confused. I didn't tell anyone in the car what had happened but kept wondering to myself what could have happened. My grandmom was behind and she's quite weak. And now I am pondering on whether I should be *so* disciplined with the traffic signal.

My question to you'll - what will you do if u come across an empty junction(in the city) with the signal turned to red? Do you try to make a difference in your own small way or play along with the rules of the road and not stop?
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Old 7th June 2008, 15:09   #2
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In bangalore , even as early as 10PM nobody stops at major signal points. On many occasions I have seen people going through Reds at Minerva , Town Hall etc at 10PM. Some ppl stop , others just press on the horn and go through.

On a couple of occasions I did just that - seeing that many ppl were skipping the light , I followed suit.

On another occasion I had an incident similar to yours where I skipped the light but the oncoming vehicle ( who had a green) came in my way inadvertently coz he was not expecting me. It was close.

So I make it a policy to put my hand out whenever I am stopping - red light or not , early or late in the evening. If its Red - I definitely stop as long as there are at least a few vehicles around and I am not in an emergency.
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Old 7th June 2008, 15:22   #3
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I experience the same situation when i drive early in the morning. But no matter what happens around me , i always stop at the red signal. You did the right thing by doing the same , no worries.
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Old 7th June 2008, 16:03   #4
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Totally did the right thing! Yes there are idiots who'll glare at you for following rules, but even if you weren't and decided to stop for any other reason - he's behind you and the onus of maintaining safe stopping distance is on him. I guess your brake lights were working as usual - ?
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Old 7th June 2008, 16:12   #5
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You did absolutely right. I also stop at the signal irrespective of time or oncoming traffic. If someone behind honks...just tell him to either fly over you or in case ur vehicle's ground clearance is good...he may as well crawl under

Regards,
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Old 7th June 2008, 16:46   #6
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What you did was right. No point in changing your discipline for guys like the taxi driver in question. In all probability he wouldnt have stopped even if there had been traffic.

If its really late and the light is red and there is NO traffic, i usually stop-look-go.
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Old 7th June 2008, 17:01   #7
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A face a common scenario near sadashivnagar police station signal after 10:30pm. they just keep on honking until you proceed, it irritates so much these idiots act as though they are practicing for the next F1 race.

These idiots should be hit in the right spot.. don't ask me which is the right spot i don't want to get a infraction or get banned
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Old 7th June 2008, 17:41   #8
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What you did was right. What you can do is to lightly press on the brakes so that they light up and the driver behind you can take appropriate action. Coming to a fast stop in front of a red light, in places where drivers normally do not, can be risky.

Better to coast to a slow stop
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Old 7th June 2008, 18:09   #9
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I generally put my hand out of the window and indicate that I am stopping.
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Old 7th June 2008, 18:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I generally put my hand out of the window and indicate that I am stopping.
good suggestion, this one does work at least in some parts of hyderabad. But i find it difficult to do that when i am in my car.(it doesnt have power windows). Depending upon the situation i follow this trick when I am on my bike.

whenever i am in such a situation and I get those strange stares (sometimes from the traffic policemen, yes from the traffic policemen), I feel like calling the traffic commissioner and ask him, what should I do?

I am making a list of all such things and one of these days I am going to approach him. Any of hyderabad Team-bhpians would like to team up with me?

raj.
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Old 7th June 2008, 18:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkr2k2 View Post
I am making a list of all such things and one of these days I am going to approach him. Any of hyderabad Team-bhpians would like to team up with me?

raj.
count me in

Raj, Why don't you start a new thread for this?
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Old 7th June 2008, 18:45   #12
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Well, I stopped at a red light in city in evening and there were no cops around at this junction. A Unicorn rear ended me. He left away.

Decided to avoid the route.

If there is less traffic, stop watch and go!
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Old 7th June 2008, 18:51   #13
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If that is an usual route for you and you knew of the traffic signals around the bend, then you should make it a habit to slow down even before the curve so that there is enough reaction time for the guy behind you.

I always stop at traffic signals, no matter what time or what the traffic conditions are. If the guys behind me honk, I just move very slowly when I get green

Cheers,

Rajan
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Old 7th June 2008, 19:00   #14
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The question is not whether you should stop at a red light or not; this could have happened at a regular junction in the late night too. The question is : How to drive defensively and avoid the cab from rear-ending you? Simple....watch your mirrors when coming to a halt and if required, switch lanes (get out of his way) and stop.

Another practice of mine for such situations is to start slowing down a little before the usual spot, clearly letting the guy at the back know that I intend to stop for the red light.

Last edited by GTO : 9th June 2008 at 11:06. Reason: Adding point
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Old 7th June 2008, 19:18   #15
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If you want to safeguard your vehicle from other morons on the road who don't give a damn about following traffic rules or doesn't have any driving etiquette, you need to drive smartly. As mentioned by fellow members, whenever I'm approaching any traffic light, I always check my rear-view mirrors to make sure nobody is very close, if there is a vehicle behind me, I slightly press the brake so that the driver behind me can see the brake light and he will know that I'm slowing down.

Delhi police has started installing red light speed cameras at major road intersections, which captures a image if anyone jumps a red light. I've seen it a couple of times in action but not sure how effective its going to be.
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