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Old 11-17-2011, 06:12 PM
 
99 posts, read 88,466 times
Reputation: 106

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I just visited Austin for four days, and did a lot of driving... I have to ask -- what's up with the crazy red lights? On some intersections, I was sure the lights broke down, they were red for so long...

I have to say, though, you guys are very polite drivers... My gps died on the second day, and the things I was doing would've honked me right out of any other city, but I only got honked at once or twice .
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:53 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 2,773,280 times
Reputation: 1200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
I dont think this is correct. As long as you enter the intersection while the light is green or yellow you are fine in california or texas.

Here is a link to the discussion of california laws. If you are facing a red light you are not allowed to enter the intersection. There is an antigridlock law which says you cannot enter the intersection unless there is space for you to exit it.
When Is It Considered- BY LAW- "Running A Red Light"?-- In California? - Yahoo! Answers
One of those answers in the Yahoo site did say that if your car hasn't cleared the intersection when the light turns red, it is considered running a red light. But I don't know if this person is right. I couldn't find anything about this in the CA vehicle code, either. I made the comment about your rear axle clearing the intersection before the light is red because that is what I was told in traffic school. (Yes, I did get a ticket a few years ago in CA, but for speeding, not running a red.)

Whatever the rules are, it is clear that Texans feel free to enter intersections later in the cycle than Californians, and are not at all afraid to be in the intersection when it turns red. I cited the CA law as I knew it, by way of trying to explain the difference in driving habits. But if I am wrong about the CA law (and I don't really feel convinced of this), then I can't explain why Texans are used to running lights. Habit or just the culture, I guess.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:56 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 2,773,280 times
Reputation: 1200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pulzar View Post
I just visited Austin for four days, and did a lot of driving... I have to ask -- what's up with the crazy red lights? On some intersections, I was sure the lights broke down, they were red for so long...

I have to say, though, you guys are very polite drivers... My gps died on the second day, and the things I was doing would've honked me right out of any other city, but I only got honked at once or twice .
Some red lights are very long here, it is true. And yes, Texans are reluctant to use their horns. In some ways, they seem like more patient drivers than in other places. But they are not less likely to speed or tailgate, so I'm not sure that they are more patient in other ways. Still, I appreciate the reluctance to use the horn, as it feels to my as though people are really trying to be polite.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:35 PM
 
4,061 posts, read 6,355,337 times
Reputation: 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
One of those answers in the Yahoo site did say that if your car hasn't cleared the intersection when the light turns red, it is considered running a red light. But I don't know if this person is right. I couldn't find anything about this in the CA vehicle code, either. I made the comment about your rear axle clearing the intersection before the light is red because that is what I was told in traffic school. (Yes, I did get a ticket a few years ago in CA, but for speeding, not running a red.)

Whatever the rules are, it is clear that Texans feel free to enter intersections later in the cycle than Californians, and are not at all afraid to be in the intersection when it turns red. I cited the CA law as I knew it, by way of trying to explain the difference in driving habits. But if I am wrong about the CA law (and I don't really feel convinced of this), then I can't explain why Texans are used to running lights. Habit or just the culture, I guess.
most of the people posting on the yahoo thread were wrong. Here are some stats show the relative frequency of deaths from red light running crashes

Red Light Running Crashes Are On The Increase
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:53 PM
 
150 posts, read 218,189 times
Reputation: 92
We are planning to move to the Austin area from Ft. Collins, CO. Your comments about drivers are scaring me. We used to live in Springfield, MO and drivers there were so bad. In l5 months we were almost creamed 7 times by drivers that zoomed out at us from side streets as we went down a city street. We had to drive super defensively all the time and it was nerve-racking. Don/t want that again. Here and in Denver it can be congested but a year's time I haven't really seen any reckless drivers.

Lived in No. Calif. for many, many years --Sacramento area-- and it was ok, too. However, I got a ticket for running a yellow light at a busy intersection (it turned red halfway thru) so never again have I run yellow lights !! Th officer told me, and the judge, too, that yellow is a caution notice and it means DONT PROCEED. Boy, aren't the rules the same all over the country? Guess not.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:32 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 2,773,280 times
Reputation: 1200
Quote:
Originally Posted by sally36 View Post
However, I got a ticket for running a yellow light at a busy intersection (it turned red halfway thru) so never again have I run yellow lights !! Th officer told me, and the judge, too, that yellow is a caution notice and it means DONT PROCEED. Boy, aren't the rules the same all over the country? Guess not.
I will repeat my warning that if you want to stop on a yellow, you look in your rear view mirror first to make sure someone isn't on your tail, anticipating you will go through. The girl who rear ended my son on our first day in residence in Texas grudgingly admitted that it was her fault. But she also told him "Texans don't stop on a yellow. You need to get used to it if you don't want to get hit again." I have to admit that I sort of resented that statement at the time, but really, she was right; if you just adjust your driving habits, you will be fine.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Lake Placid
270 posts, read 271,417 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by motherofthree View Post
My husband is always telling me I can make a left on red when no traffic is coming. He works with APD and RRPD. I don't know where it is or isn't written. I never do it though. It just feels wrong. It would ease up a lot of traffic though.


Not true!!
I did this a long time ago when it was 3:00 A.M. . No cars around, stuck are a slow and long red light. I swear I sat there for like 9 minutes. I decided to take it. Right across the street by the railroad tracks a cop was sitting there waiting. Basterd pulled me over and gave me a ticket.

I told him you must of enjoyed watching me sit that long at the light huh?
He comment was "I could have caused an accident".
Gotta love Cedar Park PD.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:15 AM
Status: "sigh....." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
2,792 posts, read 5,717,071 times
Reputation: 2189
Quote:
Originally Posted by sally36 View Post
We are planning to move to the Austin area from Ft. Collins, CO. Your comments about drivers are scaring me. We used to live in Springfield, MO and drivers there were so bad. In l5 months we were almost creamed 7 times by drivers that zoomed out at us from side streets as we went down a city street. We had to drive super defensively all the time and it was nerve-racking. Don/t want that again. Here and in Denver it can be congested but a year's time I haven't really seen any reckless drivers.

Lived in No. Calif. for many, many years --Sacramento area-- and it was ok, too. However, I got a ticket for running a yellow light at a busy intersection (it turned red halfway thru) so never again have I run yellow lights !! Th officer told me, and the judge, too, that yellow is a caution notice and it means DONT PROCEED. Boy, aren't the rules the same all over the country? Guess not.
Austin's traffic woes are the result of too little road infrastructure, combined with transplants from all over the US with different driving habits, combined with native and long time Austinites who have adapted their driving (not always positively) to accommodate the congestion. Overall, Texans tend to be polite drivers, but it's getting a little crazier out there every day. I don't think you need fear aggressive divers here, but you do have to be aware at all times and adapt to local customs (like not stopping at a yellow light, LOL).
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Austin Texas
727 posts, read 480,424 times
Reputation: 1287
Whether you stop at a yellow or proceed through with caution is not the problem. It's when the light has already turned red and cars are still barreling through that scares me. Just last night I was at a light that turned green. No one in front of me moved for a couple seconds (I presume out of caution or fear). When they finally began to move, a minivan came flying through the intersection. This was at minimum, five seconds after the light had turned green for us. And that isn't all that atypical.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Texas
48 posts, read 47,100 times
Reputation: 50
I was on my scooter waiting on north lamar to cross Koenig yesterday and about 4 cars went through the red in front of me. There were cars not even entering the intersection yet who ran the red after my light was green. I always try to get a quick start from lights when I'm first in traffic so I can get my pick of lanes up ahead and not have to look over my should for room to merge etc. Green in Austin doesn't mean 'go',, it means 'proceed once the intersection is clear'.

On the one hand I throw my hands up like "what's a matter with you animals!" On the other hand, I only was in that part of town to go to a store. I don't commute that way. If I had to commute on Lamar between 5-6pm regularly, I'd probably start building some kind of little blimp or an ultralight aircraft.
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