Help LED traffic lights

CoffinDodger

Speeding Up
Dec 4, 2008
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Tokyo
Recently I was involved in an accident. Basically I caused it, by crossing on red. However I was under the impression that once the light for traffic turned red, there was a 3-4 second delay before the pedestrian light went green. This is not the case.

It seems that the pedestrian light goes green within half a second of the road traffic light turning red.

I would have thought that the delay would vary according to the location??

Since I’m unable to ride at the moment, I have been checking every set of lights.

Is it the case that the newest type LED lights all have this zero tolerance delay?

Of course I saw the orange and tried to brake but these lights are at the bottom of a hill. Not much of an excuse I know, Ossifer.
 

Half-Fast Mike

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May 22, 2007
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Oh dear. I hope any injuries are minor and/or well-insured.

The delay depends very much on location. I read that during last week's Olympic congestion testing the police were adjusting the timing of hundreds of traffic lights around Tokyo; it's easy to envisage that leading to accidents among commuters and delivery drivers who are used to the unofficial 'grace period' at intersections on their accustomed routes.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
The regional tolerance also varies considerably.

Here in Niigata I cringe as I drive through a light as it turns red.

But look in the rear view mirror... and the next 3 cars follow me through.

Subsequently pedestrians, well me anyway, are more hesitant to step out into the road until they are sure the traffic has stopped.

Back in the UK tomorrow, where every light has a camera, so I'll have to be more careful.

Also 3 weeks of flicking on the wipers every time I turn a corner.

3 weeks is usually just the right learning time to ensure that I'll be doing the exact same when I return to Japan in 3 weeks time...

Andy
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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I'm not sure about the timing of the pedestrian lights, but for vehicular traffic I was under the impression the two sides were usually offset by 2 seconds, at least here in the Kanto area. This had been a pretty standard experience for me when waiting for my red light to change: Two seconds after the light for the cross traffic turns red, my light would turn green.

Also 3 weeks of flicking on the wipers every time I turn a corner.
I know the experience :D

Ironically, Japan adopted its indicator / wiper stalk arrangement from the UK (along with driving on the left) about a century ago, but then the UK changed to the continental way of indicator on the left / wiper on the right (around the 1970s/80s). I guess that way car manufacturers could keep the steering wheel assembly the same, regardless of which country they were building the car for.

One drawback of the later UK arrangement is that in a RHD manual car the same hand that shifts gears also has to operate the indicator. The old way is more consistent with how cars are used in continental Europe/US, just exactly reversed.

I must say, I never had this issue on a bicycle. It shifts effortlessly from left to right and back :)
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
I'm not sure about the timing of the pedestrian lights, but for vehicular traffic I was under the impression the two sides were usually offset by 2 seconds, at least here in the Kanto area. This had been a pretty standard experience for me when waiting for my red light to change: Two seconds after the light for the cross traffic turns red, my light would turn green.



I know the experience :D

Ironically, Japan adopted its indicator / wiper stalk arrangement from the UK (along with driving on the left) about a century ago, but then the UK changed to the continental way of indicator on the left / wiper on the right (around the 1970s/80s). I guess that way car manufacturers could keep the steering wheel assembly the same, regardless of which country they were building the car for.

One drawback of the later UK arrangement is that in a RHD manual car the same hand that shifts gears also has to operate the indicator. The old way is more consistent with how cars are used in continental Europe/US, just exactly reversed.

I must say, I never had this issue on a bicycle. It shifts effortlessly from left to right and back :)
A wealth of knowledge as always!

I learnt to drive in a Nissan Micra which was set up as in Japan now. But like you say all are different now.

A few years ago we flew to Lyon with friends to watch the Alp de Huez stage of the Tour de France.

We picked up 3 Renault Clios at the airport.

Like a scene from the Italian Job, we all went the wrong way around the first roundabout.

Luckily it wasn't central Paris!

Andy
 
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Kangaeroo

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I miss roundabouts. Traffic would flow so much smoother in (at least suburban) Tokyo if useless traffic lights (which would have to be the majority of them) were replaced with roundabouts, though American brethren may disagree...
 

CoffinDodger

Speeding Up
Dec 4, 2008
194
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Tokyo
As to the insurance, it wouldn’t have been a bit of good. Since an illegal act was committed. The usual sorry money bribe was paid to the pedestrian who fortunately only suffered a broken arm. Plus his medical bills.

Fortunately my long suffering wife smoothed things over with him so he won’t file a complaint with the police. Personally I was expecting a jail sentence.....though here that means a lot of serious shit for my family, which is completely unwarranted.
 
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