Countdown Timers More of a Liability

Countdown Timers More of a LiabilityCountdown Timers More of a Liability

Research indicates the disadvantages of using timers at traffic lights outweigh their benefits and that is what has prompted the traffic officials to consider removing them by the end of the current year (started on March 21). Mahdi  Yadi Hamedani, Secretary of Supreme Council for Traffic Coordination said at the Council’s 116th meeting  that plans are underway to get rid  of  the countdown timers at  traffic lights. “Nevertheless’’, he said , ‘’more expert meetings on the issue are needed to resolve remaining ambiguities’’, Alef News Agency quoted him as saying.

Countdown timers at red lights -which warn drivers how much time is left before the light changes- can help to ease traffic flow, residents and road safety experts say. But motorists are being urged to slow down as they approach traffic lights and junctions and to avoid speeding when lights turn from green to amber.

Countdown timers at red lights would inform drivers how much time remains before the light turns green, while timers at green lights would tell drivers how much time is left before the light turns red.

Red-light timers also allow drivers to prepare and could also have environmental benefits if motorists switch off their engines.

However, field observations have shown that drivers accelerate through the intersection at the end of the green cycle even when the countdown time may be less than two seconds.

Studies also show that while timers at red lights have helped to reduce the number of traffic accidents by half, twice as many accidents have occurred when timers were installed at green lights.

The issue of distracted driving should also be addressed. When motorists decide to pass through a green light, they tend to focus more on the countdown time as opposed to what is happening on the road, especially during the last seconds of the green phase. With evidence growing on the dangers of countdown timers, Supreme Council of Traffic Coordination members have until the end of the year to decide whether their removal is ultimately worth it or not.