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Old 25th March 2010, 15:54   #1
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Default Where have the traffic signal countdown indicators disappeared

Did anyone notice that in the last few months, the countdown indicators at traffic lights in Mumbai have disappeared. Does anyone know the logic behind it? I have been driving for last few days (driver on leave) and hence realised this. Its quite strange since the traffic department at one end is encouraging fuel saving measures and in fact has an ad that asks motorists to switch off their vehicles at signals. The thumb rule is that if you are going to wait a signal for more than a minute, than only it is worth switching off your car (else the startup of car burns more fuel than you save by putting it off). now without the countdown indicators, it is really difficult to know how long you are going to wait at the signal.
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Old 25th March 2010, 22:59   #2
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Now that you mention it, yes, the RTO seemed to have pulled back the countdown indicators. Personally, my observation was that it made drivers more patient. You know you have another minute to go, instead of staring at the traffic light & waiting for the green. I personally found the "countdown to red" immensely helpful too i.e. the time left (before light turns red) tells you whether to drive through, or come to a safe gradual stop.

Hadn't the RTO introduced them on a trial basis? Will be interesting to know exactly why they decided to withdraw.
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Old 25th March 2010, 23:08   #3
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Not to sound pessimistic, atleast in chennai, I have seen that, impatient motorists, typically "aim" their vehicles in high speed, all the time keeping an eye on the decrementing counter - without seeing where they ought to be seeing, the other side of traffic.

and guess the great idea, to cross the other side before the counter reaches zero. Are they assistants to Adbul Kalam, and tasked with delivering the key to the next ICBM, eh ?

So IMHO, chennai police retracted at many key junctions, at least that made people cautious - a little at least.

Alas, if it were as easy at it sounds..

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Old 25th March 2010, 23:14   #4
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I agree that timers are very good, but I have seen many people even misuse it. If there are 3 junctions at a signal, a person from one junction will just vroom off (especially bikers) between the gap of 3 secs. Also, people assume that it's green 5 secs before it actually turns green. Had a fight with my friend for misusing in the same manner.
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Old 25th March 2010, 23:33   #5
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Its not just in mumbai guys, in blr too i have seen, most of them are gone. It was a good move having them but nowadays, I dont see them at all.
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Old 25th March 2010, 23:45   #6
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The same is at Bangalore, Most of the countdown timers do not work. I had an opportunity to ask one of the Traffic Inspector and he mentioned that the timers work erratically and the cost to much to maintain and hence are being discontinued. BEL is supposed to look after the same.
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Old 26th March 2010, 08:09   #7
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The situation is same in Thane too. A no of junctions had the countdown indicators which have totally stopped working and the result is people dont even wait till the lights go green. Evenwhen the indicators were working people used to take off with 15-20 secs still left for the indicators to go green. The impatience levels have further increased. Earlier people atleast used to wait at the crossing line when the indicators were on and now they wait half way through the signal area.
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Old 26th March 2010, 08:22   #8
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The count down timer is very convenient to me, helps me to shut off the engine if my wait time is more than 10-15 seconds & helps me start just when its around 2 seconds to green.

Like somebody says, yes I too speed up when the seconds are less, but not at the cost of looking at the timer, I keep counting down the seconds within me, but I still watch out & WILL NEVER rush up when I see amber. Had a good experience several years back before all these timers, was knocked down by another two wheeler guy when I was crossing the signal at amber; that moron rushed up before his Green signal & thus I learnt my lesson to watch out.

But, Thanks this is Chennai & thankfully the timers are not withdrawn still; I could sometimes see them not working which is different, but majority of them are still working.

OT - Why didn't the govt opt to use solar powered count down timers or implement new signals with solar power?

Last edited by aargee : 26th March 2010 at 08:24.
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Old 26th March 2010, 12:40   #9
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Problem is the technology does not consider the IQ levels of the drivers.

Here in Bangalore people start moving or honking insanely when 10 secs are left.

I am happy they are going out. Not because I dont find them useful but because the people who are using them are not that bright for them.
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Old 26th March 2010, 12:43   #10
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Default Countdown Timers at Delhi

The count down timers have also disappeared from most of Delhi as well. I too believe they are pretty useful for the motorists. Wish these are reinstated.
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Old 26th March 2010, 13:57   #11
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Default Countdown timers

On the balance, these were positive. I think it made drivers a little more patient, plus removed the need for unnecessary acceleration to beat the red light.
It was also a boon to pedestrians and the elderly crossing the road, who could at least time their crossing safely.
And with the timers...hah..you could give a piece of your mind those impatient honkers.
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Old 26th March 2010, 16:54   #12
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Yes, true as many said in Bangalore also I have noticed it has disappeared from some places. I had read it few years back when the timers were introduced in Delhi that pollution levels at signals with timers came down since motorists used to switch off their vehicles. This I feel is great plus considering the higly polluted air in most/ all of our metro's and compare it to the price of maintaining an LED timer I guess its really stupid move to remove it.
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Old 26th March 2010, 17:31   #13
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The countdown timers have disappeared in Mumbai/Bangalore and magically re-appeared in Pune on majority of traffic signal. This I have noticed for the past couple of months.

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Old 26th March 2010, 17:44   #14
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In delhi & noida these counters just get stolen at 3 AM in the night, I have seen them being stolen by 2 thugs who got a ladder with them & were trying to steal the counter one night @ 2:30 AM
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Old 26th March 2010, 17:55   #15
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They still have a few timers in Bangalore left over. They were useful, but like what some here said, drivers would start honking with 10 secs left on the timer was really annoying. In that way, its good they removed it. We Indians honk for everything. It's like a sign of joy and celebration if you ask me!
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