​Why I’m seeing red over dangerous driving at traffic lights - Susan Morrison

​My driver’s licence was issued so long ago we only had to sit one test. We didn’t do the theory thing. Driving has changed. I might be out of date.
Red lights are just a suggestion for some driversRed lights are just a suggestion for some drivers
Red lights are just a suggestion for some drivers

Hand signals, now. Not sure they even get taught today. My family used them because the flip-out indicators on our old Morris Minor only worked when it was sunny. On a Tuesday. In June.

So, things change, and so my question to those with theoretical knowledge is, have red traffic lights become not so much a command to “Stop”, as a suggestion along the lines of “Hey. It's a red light. But do ya feel lucky? Looks clear? Then give it a go.”?

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Between my house and Leith Victoria pool and gym there’s a tricky junction. It's at the top of Bonnington Road.

It’s one of those corners where the traffic has to stop far back from the actual corner to allow the buses to turn.

Right hand turners from Great Junction Street can’t always see what's around the corner, and all it takes is a parked delivery van or a queue holding up the Number 10 to create a minor jam, or a near miss bumper bash if you go around too quickly.

Pedestrians tend to cross farther down the street, although for Leith they are weirdly law-abiding and wait for the official green light. This means that cars coming around that particular corner sometimes can’t see them.

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Monday morning, which you’ll recall was a freezer of a day, but I stood shivering until that green man flashed me. I checked, stepped off the pavement, then jumped back on. A van and three cars shot through that red light, corner cutting and moving at a fair old lick.

It's not just that junction. Red lights seem to be negotiable city-wide.

Back in the 70’s there was a campaign to stop people driving through the amber light, never mind the red. They called it ‘Amber Gambling’ . There was even a film about it. Might be time to start a ‘Don't Bet on Red’ campaign just to remind people that stop means stop.

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