Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license



  • http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/yellow-light-crusader-fined-for-doing-math-without-a-license/ar-BBAz6uC?li=BBnb7Kz

    Guy's wife gets a ticket from a red light camera. He does some research into how the traffic light operates and determines its yellow light is too short for a right-turn. Takes his findings to city hall. They laugh him out.

    Everything up to this point is how one would expect a series of events to occur. However, they then slapped him with a $500 fine for "performing engineering without a license." Not sure if they raided his house to find drafting tables and CAD software, or frisked him for possession of protractors and compasses, though.

    I'm sure the guy was getting rather passionate about his war with city hall, and became a nuisance for the guys there, but their ability to fine him for practicing engineering without a license for something like this is insane. It's like if I were to be fined for challenging a law without an attorney license or give someone a recipe without a nutritionist license.



  • @The_Quiet_One Or, perhaps more poignantly, put software on GitHub without a "Software License." Perhaps even write a blog that claims one way of programming something is better than other without said license.
    I get the idea that governments should only contract trusted vendors; under no circumstances do you want any question that a highway or bridge would be unsafe. But there's a rather large leap between agreeing to a contract and making a suggestion. He should have said "I am not an engineer" at the end of whatever hearing he had. Then he should keep doing it and say "I am not an engineer" at the end every single time until they change the timings.



  • @The_Quiet_One According to the article it was

    because Mr. Jarlstrom called himself “an excellent engineer” in one of several emails to the board and informed the Washington County sheriff that he “invented and publicly released a new extended solution” to the problem of yellow lights in traffic flow.

    They give other examples of people being fined for describing themselves as engineers without actually being registered as an engineer (including one who simply didn't clarify that his registration was in retirement status). So it sounds like the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying are simply being fairly aggressive about protecting the term 'engineer', which is pretty much their job.

    TBH the guy sounds like a typical crank:

    After being laughed out of City Hall, a determined Mr. Jarlstrom brought a federal lawsuit in 2014 against Beaverton, complaining that the too-short yellow lights endangered public safety. A judge dismissed the suit.

    Undeterred, Mr. Jarlstrom continued his campaign, tirelessly writing to public officials, media outlets and transportation experts.



  • @Scarlet_Manuka Wait, are you giving that example of the retired guy as a defense of the board? Because that's just as idiotic.
    The problem with a system like this is that you could be the most acclaimed engineer in the world -- maybe the project lead on the Brooklyn Bridge, or something -- but you'll be slapped with a fine in the state of Oregon because you're not registered. I'd say that it would be good if it at least protected local Oregon engineers from outsourced jobs, but it doesn't, because they have to deal with the same bullshit.

    However, that's not even the problem. This case is particularly egregious because this man is indeed not a registered engineer, civil or otherwise -- he was protesting a political issue. How much math does a problem have to involve before it's illegal to talk about it? Does it need algebra? I assume calculus is totally off-limits. The board's job is technically to run around slapping fines on people who call themselves engineers without being registered, true. It is also the job of the board to hear complaints and act on them.



  • @CrazyEyes said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @Scarlet_Manuka Wait, are you giving that example of the retired guy as a defense of the board? Because that's just as idiotic.

    I mentioned that to show that in context of other similar proceedings, the original example wasn't all that unusual. The retiree one was IMO more extreme and more dubious, but the context of that was

    testifying on his daughter’s behalf in a property suit

    so like anything involving the legal system the consequences are scary. (More seriously, if he was testifying as an expert witness then I can see that clarifying that you are retired rather than active in the field could be important.)

    However, that's not even the problem. This case is particularly egregious because this man is indeed not a registered engineer, civil or otherwise -- he was protesting a political issue. How much math does a problem have to involve before it's illegal to talk about it? Does it need algebra? I assume calculus is totally off-limits.

    No, you're just copying the headline now. You can use as much maths as you like, just don't call yourself an engineer if you're not registered as one.

    The board's job is technically to run around slapping fines on people who call themselves engineers without being registered, true.

    That's what he did, so they slapped a fine on him. So they did their job.

    It is also the job of the board to hear complaints and act on them.

    No reason they can't do both. And the article doesn't give enough details to know whether they treated his complaint with the respect it deserved. But to my mind anyway, something like

    informed the Washington County sheriff that he “invented and publicly released a new extended solution” to the problem of yellow lights in traffic flow.

    just screams "crank who won't take 'no' for an answer", like the guy on sci.math back in the day who was convinced that he could prove Fermat's Last Theorem with simple algebra, no matter how many times his arguments were shot down.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    For those not willing to click the link:

    Mr. Jarlstrom does not have an engineering license issued by the state board. He is a self-employed consultant who tests audio products and repairs, upgrades and calibrates test instruments. But he did earn a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering in Sweden, where he was born. He has also spent a couple of years researching traffic light timing intervals, which included consulting with one of the authors of the original 1959 mathematical formula used as a basis for programming traffic light signals.

    Nonetheless, the Oregon board, after a nearly two-year investigation, assessed a $500 civil penalty because Mr. Jarlstrom called himself “an excellent engineer” in one of several emails to the board and informed the Washington County sheriff that he “invented and publicly released a new extended solution” to the problem of yellow lights in traffic flow.

    The board explained it had “opened a law enforcement case” against Mr. Jarlstrom “for the unlicensed practice of engineering,” and cited his attempts to publicize his review, critique and recalculations of the current formulas in use.

    “This is a broad pattern of this board,” Mr. Hottot said, adding that he has seen similar actions in other states.

    Last year, for example, the Oregon board opened an investigation into Allen Alley, the Republican candidate for governor, because a political ad stated: “I’m an engineer and a problem solver.” Although Mr. Alley has a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and worked as an engineer for Ford and Boeing, the board said that he was not registered in Oregon as a professional engineer.

    And in 2014, the board fined a retiree with 40 years experience in engineering $500 for testifying on his daughter’s behalf in a property suit without saying his registration was in retirement status.

    “They have tried to silence people like Mats who have critiqued engineering projects, and that’s dangerous,” Mr. Hottot said. “This board does not have a monopoly over the dictionary and cannot redefine the word ‘engineer.’”

    Sounds to me like the board is being perhaps overzealous in trying to insist there is one and only one acceptable meaning of "engineer". Given what the word mean in common English, if they want an official designation they should try something more specific - like, say, "licensed engineer".

    So I'm going with it being :cow::poop:. Possibly legal :cow::poop:, but :cow::poop: none-the-less. The board is trying to take a common word, with meanings commonly understood not to imply privileged status, for their own and prevent anyone else from using it without paying them a fee.



  • @Dreikin said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Sounds to me like the board is being perhaps overzealous in trying to insist there is one and only one acceptable meaning of "engineer". Given what the word mean in common English, if they want an official designation they should try something more specific - like, say, "licensed engineer".

    So I'm going with it being :cow::poop:. Possibly legal :cow::poop:, but :cow::poop: none-the-less. The board is trying to take a common word, with meanings commonly understood not to imply privileged status, for their own and prevent anyone else from using it without paying them a fee.

    I will concede them rights over "Oregon registered engineer" and nothing else.

    Also, a technical witness probably should be required to be an "Oregon registered engineer" in the matter at discussion.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @cabrito said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @Dreikin said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Sounds to me like the board is being perhaps overzealous in trying to insist there is one and only one acceptable meaning of "engineer". Given what the word mean in common English, if they want an official designation they should try something more specific - like, say, "licensed engineer".

    So I'm going with it being :cow::poop:. Possibly legal :cow::poop:, but :cow::poop: none-the-less. The board is trying to take a common word, with meanings commonly understood not to imply privileged status, for their own and prevent anyone else from using it without paying them a fee.

    I will concede them rights over "Oregon registered engineer" and nothing else.

    Also, a technical witness probably should be required to be an "Oregon registered engineer" in the matter at discussion.

    I wouldn't agree with that last part, given the full faith and credit clause. Limiting it to engineers registered/licensed in the USA for the topic at hand should be okay though. Although even then, retired engineers (previously but not currently registered, without the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge) may be acceptable too, depending on context (historical matters dealing with the time they were licensed to practice, for example).

    ETA: Then there's the issue of experts on a subject who are commonly recognized as experts by some route other than licensed/registered engineering (eg, high-level academics. See Richard Feynman and the O-Rings. Seriously, they're pretty good. ;)) And to a certain extent it's an expectation of most people that they have some engineering knowledge and ability, even if the realms are widely divergent. Just because something is in the domain of "engineering" doesn't mean it should require a licensed/registered engineer to declare the Truth on it.



  • @Scarlet_Manuka said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    You can use as much maths as you like, just don't call yourself an engineer if you're not registered as one.

    Why not? As long as you don't claim to be a "registered engineer" or something similar, anyone who practices engineering should be able to call themselves an engineer, more so if they actually have a degree in mechanical engineering.

    What's next? Is Oregon going to found the Oregon State Culinary Board to go after people who call themselves a "cook"?



  • @Deadfast I have an Oregon license for internet trolling



  • @Deadfast said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    What's next? Is Oregon going to found the Oregon State Culinary Board to go after people who call themselves a "cook"?

    Or a doctor for that matter.
    I wouldn't go as far as calling myself an "excellent doctor" or a "registered doctor" but I've cured dozens of colds, foot-and-mouth disease and various tantrums plus I hold a certificate from a first aid course, so I'm certainly entitled to calling myself a doctor :trolleybus:



  • @LaoC said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @Deadfast said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    What's next? Is Oregon going to found the Oregon State Culinary Board to go after people who call themselves a "cook"?

    Or a doctor for that matter.
    I wouldn't go as far as calling myself an "excellent doctor" or a "registered doctor" but I've cured dozens of colds, foot-and-mouth disease and various tantrums plus I hold a certificate from a first aid course, so I'm certainly entitled to calling myself a doctor :trolleybus:

    This would be the equivalent of requiring an active medical license for people who watch television that includes commercials for medicine and then prosecuting anyone who watches such a commercial without a medical license.

    Licenses shouldn't enter into whether simple math is correct. The correctness is decided by the math, not by the credentials of the person who wrote it.

    Does "1+1=2" become less true when an unlicensed mathematician writes it?



  • @Scarlet_Manuka said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    TBH the guy sounds like a typical crank:

    Absolutely not.

    I know that the yellow lights were shortened in Houston when they put in the red-light cameras. It's dangerous to do that, and the only positive result is an increase in fine revenue. It increases collisions, not decreases them.

    Not only that, it was shut down because of corruption (unrelated to yellow light timing, but telling nonetheless)



  • @LaoC said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    I wouldn't go as far as calling myself an "excellent doctor" or a "registered doctor" but I've cured dozens of colds, foot-and-mouth disease and various tantrums plus I hold a certificate from a first aid course, so I'm certainly entitled to calling myself a doctor

    This is more like being fined for wrongfully calling 911, and in your defense you state "He looked injured because blood was gushing out and his brain was exposed", and they fine you for not being a doctor.

    This is impeding on someone being able to defend themselves in court, and therefore unconstitutional.

    The licensing board is responsible for protecting customers, not protecting the DA from people defending themselves in court.



  • @ben_lubar said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Licenses shouldn't enter into whether simple math is correct. The correctness is decided by the math, not by the credentials of the person who wrote it.

    No, the applicability of the maths to the real world situation is where expertise (and hence licensing) comes in. The maths, however correct it is, means nothing unless it correctly represents the issue. Otherwise you just have people making up numbers in defence of their own views and then bitching that everyone else is too stupid to see why they are right, as for example in practically any economic argument on this forum.

    @xaade said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    The licensing board is responsible for protecting customers

    One of the ways in which they are supposed to be doing that is to make sure that people don't go around representing themselves as engineers without being licensed as such. Or so I have always understood it to be; I admit I'm not well versed in the law in this area. (Or indeed in any area.)



  • @ben_lubar said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    This would be the equivalent of requiring an active medical license for people who watch television that includes commercials for medicine and then prosecuting anyone who watches such a commercial without a medical license.

    Quoting @Dreikin's quote:

    Nonetheless, the Oregon board, after a nearly two-year investigation, assessed a $500 civil penalty because Mr. Jarlstrom called himself “an excellent engineer” in one of several emails to the board and informed the Washington County sheriff that he “invented and publicly released a new extended solution” to the problem of yellow lights in traffic flow.

    Licenses shouldn't enter into whether simple math is correct. The correctness is decided by the math, not by the credentials of the person who wrote it.

    As far as I can read they didn't say his math was incorrect because he didn't have a license. They said he had to pay a fine because he called himself an engineer. I can't comment on how correct or incorrect his math is because I haven't seen it.



  • @LaoC said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @ben_lubar said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    This would be the equivalent of requiring an active medical license for people who watch television that includes commercials for medicine and then prosecuting anyone who watches such a commercial without a medical license.

    Quoting @Dreikin's quote:

    Nonetheless, the Oregon board, after a nearly two-year investigation, assessed a $500 civil penalty because Mr. Jarlstrom called himself “an excellent engineer” in one of several emails to the board and informed the Washington County sheriff that he “invented and publicly released a new extended solution” to the problem of yellow lights in traffic flow.

    Licenses shouldn't enter into whether simple math is correct. The correctness is decided by the math, not by the credentials of the person who wrote it.

    As far as I can read they didn't say his math was incorrect because he didn't have a license. They said he had to pay a fine because he called himself an engineer. I can't comment on how correct or incorrect his math is because I haven't seen it.

    Sorry, but to me this sounds like they couldn't win the argument with merit so they decided to fine the opponent into submission instead. I sincerely doubt Mr. Jarlstrom uses "Excellent Engineer" as his email signature. I reckon it's more likely that they called him the polite version of a buffoon, which caused him to utter the forbidden word within the context of the conversation.



  • @LaoC said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    They said he had to pay a fine because he called himself an engineer.

    If that's a fixed rule, then wisdom has been left out at some point.



  • @Dreikin Exactly, this is what I was getting at. Oregon doesn't have the right to decide who isn't and is an engineer. Well, technically they do in terms of legality, but the idea that someone "stops being an engineer" as soon as they enter the state of Oregon is totally ridiculous.

    I do think that the guy is at least a little at fault for not doing research and being smart enough to say "I am not an engineer" as people giving legal advice frequently do though. He knew this was going to be a political/legal fight and that there would be word magic involved -- or should have known, in my opinion.



  • @Deadfast said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Sorry, but to me this sounds like they couldn't win the argument with merit so they decided to fine the opponent into submission instead.

    Either the guys at City Hall have an obligation to hear him or they don't. If they do, they have to do it whether he uses an inappropriate title or not. If they don't, it doesn't matter if he poses as J. Random Homeless or Stephen Hawking, they can just ignore him. Of course the come across as a bunch of vengeful :pendant: :pendant:

    I sincerely doubt Mr. Jarlstrom uses "Excellent Engineer" as his email signature. I reckon it's more likely that they called him the polite version of a buffoon, which caused him to utter the forbidden word within the context of the conversation.

    Probably. What I find surprising is that it seems to be forbidden to call yourself that in semi-private conversation. It's not like he'd been advertising as an engineer.



  • @CrazyEyes said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    The board's job is technically to run around slapping fines on people who call themselves engineers without being registered, true.

    Is it really, though? Is it really about people representing themselves as such for work people pay for that requires a registered engineer? I mean...I haven't seen their charter or anything, so I don't know.

    Actually, no: it's really about preventing competition. The benefits of keeping frauds out is really coincidental.



  • @CrazyEyes :raised_hand: At my company, everyone always calls the devs 'engineers' for some reason, and we're in Oregon. I hope no one tells that board!


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @xaade said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    I know that the yellow lights were shortened in Houston when they put in the red-light cameras. It's dangerous to do that, and the only positive result is an increase in fine revenue. It increases collisions, not decreases them.

    Actually, it's likely to increase rear-end collisions and decrease T-bone collisions. And due to the way cars work and the physics involved, that's absolutely a tradeoff worth making!


  • sockdevs

    @masonwheeler But you could get an increase in the number of whiplash claims, and I know in the UK, that's been a real pain for the insurance industry, as it's surprisingly hard to prove or disprove whiplash. As a result, they've found themselves having to pay out more than you'd expect, and that pushes premiums up for everyone.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @RaceProUK

    1. Sounds like you've got a much better insurance system than we do, then. If something's hard to prove or disprove over here, the insurance company can say "screw you" and not pay out unless you actually prove it.

    2. That's still better than the hospitalizations and deaths that T-bone collisions cause.




  • sockdevs

    @masonwheeler said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    That's still better than the hospitalizations and deaths that T-bone collisions cause.

    You say that, but whiplash claims can (and have) also placed unnecessary burden on the health services, and tied up a lot of police and court time.



  • @masonwheeler said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Actually, it's likely to increase rear-end collisions and decrease T-bone collisions. And due to the way cars work and the physics involved, that's absolutely a tradeoff worth making!

    Only if it's a 1-for-1 trade. It seems to me like you're going to get a greater increase in rear-end collisions than you get a decrease in T-bone collisions, though. (Rear-end collisions are caused when only one driver makes a mistake; T-bones require two drivers to do so.)


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @Unperverted-Vixen said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    (Rear-end collisions are caused when only one driver makes a mistake; T-bones require two drivers to do so.)

    How do you figure?

    A few years ago, I was driving home when I got stopped at a red light, with one car in front of me. When the light turned green, he started going... and almost immediately got T-boned by a car coming the other way, trying to turn left without a protected left turn.

    The guy in front of me did nothing wrong AFAICT. He had the right of way, and he took it. He didn't know that the person in the left turn lane across from us wasn't paying attention...



  • @masonwheeler said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    He had the right of way

    Don't know about your place, but that's not how it works here, you're allowed to cross the green light once you are sure the way is free of any danger.



  • @Unperverted-Vixen said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Only if it's a 1-for-1 trade. It seems to me like you're going to get a greater increase in rear-end collisions than you get a decrease in T-bone collisions, though. (Rear-end collisions are caused when only one driver makes a mistake; T-bones require two drivers to do so.)

    I'm not sure I agree about the mistakes. But I do doubt that it's a 1-1 tradeoff. I'd guess that you'd get more increased rear endings than you'd get decreased t-bones, but I'd be interested in data either way.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @TimeBandit It was clear. He started going, and then the other guy turned into him. I'm just glad I wasn't too close behind him! :o


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @Unperverted-Vixen said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Only if it's a 1-for-1 trade. It seems to me like you're going to get a greater increase in rear-end collisions than you get a decrease in T-bone collisions, though. (Rear-end collisions are caused when only one driver makes a mistake; T-bones require two drivers to do so.)

    I'm not sure I agree about the mistakes. But I do doubt that it's a 1-1 tradeoff. I'd guess that you'd get more increased rear endings than you'd get decreased t-bones, but I'd be interested in data either way.

    One reason you'll get more rear-end collisions is they're more likely to daisy-chain, given how closely drivers stop in a queue, yet don't apply the handbrake (and yes, I'm guilty too).



  • @RaceProUK said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    One reason you'll get more rear-end collisions is they're more likely to daisy-chain, given how closely drivers stop in a queue, yet don't apply the handbrake (and yes, I'm guilty too).

    Uh...I don't get what you're saying. I can't recall when I've ever had to use a hand brake while driving.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    I can't recall when I've ever had to use a hand brake while driving.

    The advice may be different in the US, but in the UK, learners are advised to apply the handbrake when waiting in a queue for a significant length of time (also for hill starts). Of course, most drivers, once they've passed their test, stop using the handbrake for that purpose, usually because they've had enough of dickheads in Audis blaring their horns because you haven't started moving three years before the lights change to green.


  • mod

    @masonwheeler I'm still looking for studies, but I question this claim. Most sources (without citing data) indicate that broadside collisions are typically the result of negligence or recklessness, such as distracted driving; they never saw the red light. From experience, I know there's usually a slight delay when the light turns green before people start driving, as they all check to make sure nobody's running the red light. A longer yellow reduces rear-end collisions for sure, but does a shorter one really decrease the odds of a t-bone?

    There's plenty of evidence that longer yellows reduce collisions overall:

    And studies showing it reduces red light violations, which cause collisions:

    But apparently there's a huge holy war between "install cameras" (favored by city officials in most cases, probably because it provides revenue) and "adjust yellow light timings" (often touted by engineers) going on across the nation.



  • @boomzilla When stopping in a significant upward slope. That way, you can start powering back up when restarting without going backward.


  • sockdevs

    @Yamikuronue said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    "install cameras" (favored by city officials in most cases, probably because it provides revenue)

    And is cheaper, and tickets can be issued automatically, which saves on police work, further saving money



  • @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    I can't recall when I've ever had to use a hand brake while driving

    You're missing on the fun :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


  • mod

    @RaceProUK said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    And is cheaper

    Than adjusting the yellow light timing? How do you figure?



  • @RaceProUK said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    The advice may be different in the US, but in the UK, learners are advised to apply the handbrake when waiting in a queue for a significant length of time (also for hill starts).

    Oh, right, you guys still drive manual transmissions. :rolleyes: But that situation wouldn't apply to the act of stopping for a shorter yellow light.


  • sockdevs

    @TimeBandit You do know that's footage of power oversteer, right? :P



  • @Khudzlin said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @boomzilla When stopping in a significant upward slope. That way, you can start powering back up when restarting without going backward.

    Yeah...it's just completely irrelevant to yellow lights, so I totally wasn't thinking about that. Also I drive a car with a modern transmission. :trophy:





  • @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Also I drive a car with a modern transmission.

    A 6 speed manual ? :trollface:



  • @TimeBandit said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Also I drive a car with a modern transmission.

    A 6 speed manual ? :trollface:

    The only manual in my car is in the glovebox.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Oh, right, you guys still drive manual transmissions.

    I had a 6-speed full manual as a rental car recently, and it had an electronic parking brake, which includes hill start assist. So, it's nothing to do with the gearbox :P

    I could never figure out when it kicks in though.

    @Yamikuronue said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    Than adjusting the yellow light timing? How do you figure?

    If there's already a red-light camera at the junction (and in the UK at least, there often is), then lengthening the yellow becomes the costlier option, as it requires doing something ;)


  • mod

    @RaceProUK said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    If there's already a red-light camera at the junction

    You're begging the question. Whatever you've already done is cheaper than doing it the other way, obvs.


  • mod

    @RaceProUK said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    @boomzilla said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    I can't recall when I've ever had to use a hand brake while driving.

    The advice may be different in the US, but in the UK, learners are advised to apply the handbrake when waiting in a queue for a significant length of time (also for hill starts). Of course, most drivers, once they've passed their test, stop using the handbrake for that purpose, usually because they've had enough of dickheads in Audis blaring their horns because you haven't started moving three years before the lights change to green.

    Makes sense … almost. Given that in many modern cars, the handbrake is just a way to apply only the rear brakes*, I'm not sure how helpful applying the handbrake would be in such a situation. If you've got your foot on the brake pedal anyway, engaging the handbrake isn't going to help at all. Even if you are in a manual and don't have your foot on the brake pedal, you've simply gone from applying the brakes on all four wheels to applying brakes to only the rear wheels, effectively reducing your stopping power.

    * This most noticeably doesn't apply to many post-WWII Citroens.


  • sockdevs

    @abarker said in Want to challenge traffic light timings? Better get an engineering license:

    If you've got your foot on the brake pedal anyway, engaging the handbrake isn't going to help at all.

    But if you're rear-ended, your foot could come off the pedal, leaving you with braking on zero wheels as opposed to the handbrake's two.


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