Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Improving intersection safety without using red light cameras

If DOT and governments were really serious about improving intersection safety, instead of installing some red light cameras (that actually make intersections less safe), they would instead reconfigure the traffic lights to follow the stop light sequence used in many European countries. Instead of the common "Red, Green, Yellow, back to Red" cycle that is so common in the states, a lot of countries use "Red, Red-Yellow flashing, Green, Yellow, and back to Red". This extra notification (flashing Red and Yellow at the same time) alerts drivers in the red (stopped) cross road that the light is getting ready to change to Green and they will be able to proceed "very soon".

Many times people run the Yellow/Red lights in an intersections because the cross traffic (generally) does not know when their light will go from Red to Green, so the red light runner gains some extra seconds to "scoot the light". If instead, everyone knew in advance that the light was getting ready to change and that the currently stopped traffic was getting set to go "at the light change", people would be less likely to take the risk and run the red.

Instead of "inform everyone of the up-coming light change", governments install red light cameras. It is claimed for safety but studies have shown this actually makes intersections less safe as lead cars stop abruptly causing rear-end collisions with subsequent cars that expected the lead car to not stop. Despite the evidence that these cameras cause more problems than they solve, local governments continue to install them due to their promotion as a revenue source. Put safety first, change the stop light pattern instead of installing red light cameras.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Circle Flies...

From Anonymous...

A cowboy from Texas attends a social function where Barack Obama is trying to gather more support for his Health Plan. Once he discovers the cowboy is from President Bush's home area, he starts to belittle him by talking in a southern drawl and single syllable words.

As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The cowboy says, "Y'all havin' some problem with them circle flies?"

Obama stopped talking and said, "Well, yes, if that's what they're called, but I've never heard of circle flies."

"Well Sir," the cowboy replies, "circle flies hang around ranches. They're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

"Oh," Obama replies as he goes back to rambling. But, a moment later he stops and bluntly asks, "Wait a minute, are you calling me a horse's ass?"

"No, Sir," the cowboy replies, "I have too much respect for the citizens of this country to call their President a horse's ass."

"That's a good thing," Obama responds and begins rambling on once more. After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl says, "Hard to fool them flies, though."

Police gone wild

Here is yet another incident of police accidentally shooting unarms, uninvolved civilians. This case is even worst than usual because:
  1. The police were within a dozen feet of the person they were wanting to shoot.
  2. They did not actually see a gun (the man was unarmed), they "thought" he was going for a gun.
  3. They fired three shots and missed the intended target with all three shots.
  4. They managed to hit two uninvolved innocent bystanders.
  5. They then decide to Taser the suspect.
We are constantly told by gun-control proponents that citizens should not be allowed to carry guns because they are not trained "like police are". Well, if you review the statistics on un-intended shootings, you will see that concealed weapons holders are far less likely to accidentally shoot innocent civilians than the police are.

If you or I had done this, intended to shoot someone who was unarmed, in the middle of a crowded intersection, missed and hit others with stray bullets, we would be arrested and brought up on charges. Why are these two not?

Also, whenever a citizen uses a gun in self-defense, the news is more than happy to print their full name and if possible, show a picture. Where are the names of these two officers? Doesn't the public have a right to know the names of these two shooters of innocent people? Why are the names of police officers that make on the job mistakes like this shielded? If I were to do something at work that got into the paper, you can bet they would include my name.