green means go

one of my most hated activities is driving somewhere within the city……

don’t get me wrong on that point – I love going places; it’s just that sometimes, I simply hate the process of getting there.

When I learned how to drive, oh so many years ago, I was taught that a green light meant that I could go. If I was driving along and the light was green, I had the right of way to proceed through an intersection.

When did the rules change?

I drove from Richmond to New Westminster today to meet the girls for lunch. Driving through Richmond meant following a few other cars along Williams Road. The posted speed limit is 50 kmh. We went 50, 70, 40, 60, 30……… and, although most of the traffic lights were green, someone ahead of me was sure to slow right down as they approached the intersection, just in case it turned yellow.

I am pretty sure this is what causes so many crashes just before an intersection. You are expected to maintain a consistent speed while navigating your vehicle along the roadway. When you slow down at a green light, you are doing something out of the norm and likely creating a situation that could result in a crash. When you knowingly go against what is expected of every driver on the road, you have made the decision that it doesn’t matter what the rules are, this is what I am going to do.

Learn to trust your instincts, maintain your speed, and go through that intersection with a green light, without touching your brakes.

Cars these days are so automated that people are forgetting how to drive. New cars can parallel park for you, check your blind spot, tell you when you are following too close, tell you if something is behind you, and maintain a speed for you. okay – I happen to like cruise control, but if some people would use it more regularly, they could maintain a consistent speed down the road.

One last thing to add here – drive up to the red light and stop at the line. Don’t coast along, hoping that the light will change to green by the time you get there (from a block or two down the road). When you get to the intersection, stop when your front bumper is at the white line….this way, you will trip the magnetic field and make the light change. If you are too far back or forward, the light won’t change.

Happy travels, either short or long, to you. Drive safely

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