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Old April 11th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #1
earthJoker
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Yellow before green?

In all countries I know of, you have yellow infront of the red phase. Because you can't break that fast so the yellow phase gives you time. But do traffic light go yellow before the green period in your country? In Switzerland we have one. It is actually a red+yellow phase as both lights are on. It is really a nice feature as you can get yourself prepared before the green starts. The actual reason for this, is the idea that you could stop your engine at the traffic lights.
It seems that not many countries do this, which is funny as you don't need any extra light, its not more expensive as you just have to program the controller differently.

Here the phases you have for example in Switzerland:


Here the phases as for example in Australia or US I think:
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Old April 11th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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Yeah, it's useful, especially for manuals cars, but most places including the places you've mentioned don't have it.

I've also seen them in Beijing but nowhere else in China.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #3
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I was just posting something on the thread about countdowns!

btw, I think it's a pretty useful thing and I prefer the Swiss solution at most.
I do not see any reason to put some kind of countdown, since I don't give a damn if I still have to wait 34 sec or just 4 sec to get the green light.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #4
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in Croatia we also have red+yellow phase. i got use to it. for instance, in Italy green light allways surprise me.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 04:02 PM   #5
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Australia did have red-yellow before green, but this was phased out decades ago. There are very limited numbers of signals around now that still have a red-yellow phase.

Australian intersections generally have significantly higher numbers of traffic signal lanterns than many European designs, with primary, secondary and tertiary displays at normal mounting height, with any high-mounted mast-arm displays additional to this. This means that it is quite easy in many cases to observe the displays for conflicting and prepare yourself for the green. This, combined with the high number of automatic vehicles, means that start-up loss isn't really a problem.

People who like plans may like to look at this standard layout:
http://www.bookshop.vicroads.vic.gov...fs/tc-1000.pdf

People certainly do watch the other approaches to predict the green, in Melbourne at least. If you go to somewhere like Perth, where life is slower, people like to have a good think about what the green light might mean before moving off.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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in germany we have the same system as switzerland, as far as i know.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bofter View Post
Australian intersections generally have significantly higher numbers of traffic signal lanterns than many European designs, with primary, secondary and tertiary displays at normal mounting height, with any high-mounted mast-arm displays additional to this. This means that it is quite easy in many cases to observe the displays for conflicting and prepare yourself for the green. This, combined with the high number of automatic vehicles, means that start-up loss isn't really a problem.
Yes I experienced that when I drove in Australia. But even with an automatic you have a far longer reaction time without yellow phase. Also because of the simpler layout of the crossroads in Australia it is easier to place more lights (usually you have always a 90° two road intersection) without the risk of confusion.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #8
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I know a lot of people here are hesitant to take off from green lights instantly in case someone in another direction runs the red light. Nearly everyone I know counts when they can too, you see other cars slowing down; you count 3, 2, 1, then you go green
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Old April 12th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue raven View Post
Yeah, it's useful, especially for manuals cars, but most places including the places you've mentioned don't have it.

I've also seen them in Beijing but nowhere else in China.
They have it in Shanghai too on lights that don't have countdown timers. The green light also blinks for a few seconds before it turns yellow at the end of the cycle as well.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #10
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Czech republic has the same system as Switzerland too (red+yellow before green). I think it's quite common in central Europe.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 04:42 PM   #11
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In Romania yellow only appears between green and red, like in the US.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #12
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No place I'm familiar with has an intermediate stage between red and green. I think I've encountered the red - red/yellow - green sequence somewhere in North America, but can't remember where. It occurs to me a red - yellow - green sequence (as opposed to red - red/yellow....) could be a problem. Someone coming into view of the light during the yellow phase (perhaps he'd just come out of a side street) wouldn't know whether it meant "the light's about to turn green" (so wait) or "the light's about to turn red" (so try to make it). Not that I'd ever dream of running a yellow, of course. :-/

Now about that Canadian "Advanced green when flashing...."
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Old April 12th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #13
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What some of you seem to believe is that the red to green is instantaneous.

It's not.

When a light turns red for one direction, there is always a 2-3 gap where all lights are red before another turns green. During this universal red people shift gears and make sure it's safe to go. Sometimes the red is longer and people, like myself, wonder why all the lights are red for so long.

The attentive manual driver doesn't need a red-yellow light to change gears, either. All you have to do is watch for the other direction's yellow light.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
It occurs to me a red - yellow - green sequence (as opposed to red - red/yellow....) could be a problem. Someone coming into view of the light during the yellow phase (perhaps he'd just come out of a side street) wouldn't know whether it meant "the light's about to turn green" (so wait) or "the light's about to turn red" (so try to make it). Not that I'd ever dream of running a yellow, of course. :-/
That's why the red light is still on in this phase, you can see that in my first post.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptSchmidt View Post
When a light turns red for one direction, there is always a 2-3 gap where all lights are red before another turns green. During this universal red people shift gears and make sure it's safe to go. Sometimes the red is longer and people, like myself, wonder why all the lights are red for so long.
Yep, this is called the "clearance time" or "evacuation time" for an intersection. Because if somebody ran a deep-dark-yellow light, it takes a few seconds (especially trucks) to entirely cross the intersection, especially for left and right directions where you can't cross the intersection at full speed.

If there was no clearance time, traffic would already entering the intersection while conflicting traffic hasn't left the intersection yet.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #16
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I think Argentina also uses the 4 phase traffic signals.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #17
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The UK & Ireland both have the red-yellow phase
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Old April 12th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havaska View Post
The UK & Ireland both have the red-yellow phase
Ireland (ROI) doesn't.

Very occasionally at a pedestrian crossing there is a flashing yellow on its own before green for "proceed with caution" though, but that's different. Also we have flashing yellow arrows at some junctions that is kind of like a "turn left-on-red," as seen here: http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/galler...bum=270&pos=28

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Old April 12th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #19
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We in America never think of the yellow light as coming "last" - typically red is thought of as being last. Green - go; yellow - clear the intersection (cars in the intersection or without room to stop can continue, if you have room to stop then you should stop); red - stop. Often if you're turning right, a red light works like a stop sign, but never if you're going straight, and sometimes on a one-way road for a left turn. (There are often signs saying "no right on red" if it would be particularly unsafe)

The period when all lights are red is only to allow all traffic to be through the intersection before a light turns green. As for gears on a manual transmission, you should have shifted properly when you stopped at the red light - but then again, for the most part, the only American vehicles with a manual transmission are heavy trucks, older vehicles (mostly trucks), and sports cars - the majority have automatic gearboxes.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdly_dood View Post
As for gears on a manual transmission, you should have shifted properly when you stopped at the red light
You mean shift into 1st in the beginning of the waiting time? When I learned how to drive manual transmission car, I learned to wait for the green light in neutral with the handbrake on. That is what I always do. So, red-yellow sequence is a very useful thing if you don't see the orthogonal traffic light signal (in Europe traffic signals are positioned before the intersection).
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