Yellow Traffic Signals

The yellow traffic signal, you know, the one that is between the green light and the red light, which everyone seemingly ignores, means “caution, clear the intersection”.  It is intended to give traffic already in the intersection time to clear the intersection so that the traffic on the cross street can cross safely when their light turns green.  When the light for the cross traffic turns green, the light for the traffic with the formerly yellow signal turns red.  So if you enter the intersection on the yellow light, you are likely to be in the intersection when the light turns red and the chances of causing an automobile collision greatly increase.

I know we can all agree that we want to avoid car crashes.  I know we can all agree that we all want to avoid causing serious personal injury to ourselves and to others.  I know we can all agree that broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord injuries and paralysis all are to be avoided.  I know we can also agree that our chances of avoiding a car crash or even a semi tractor-trailer collision are much better if do not enter an intersection on yellow.  Instead, take a deep breath, relax and slow your car as you approach the yellow.  You will get home safe and sound if not just a few minutes later.

As an addition to my “If it’s good for me it’s good, no matter how it affects you” file, today I witnessed a person enter a major intersection on a yellow light.  The person had a cell phone to the ear with one hand and a travel cup in the other.  The person must have been steering with the knee.  The light turned red while the car was in the intersection and when the cars on the cross street pulled out, because they had the green light, there was a very near miss.  Be careful out there, we all have the right to enjoy our lives without injury.

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