Every day that we’re driving, we all encounter traffic lights of some sort. Some single strand, some double, some triple, some with varying patterns to make life interesting. The double ones have the normal round light to advise you can go straight or turn left or right with or without the arrow, there’s one that has a B on them that turns green to let everyone know the bus goes first. The same for T for a tram. There’s one with hook turn arrows, to show you must slide left before turning right. There’s one with pictures of bikes to show they get to go first. No wonder clients say to me, even after many hours of learning, traffic lights confuse me.
The common question is why can’t they all be the same?
That is a very good question. Many years ago, they were very simple, and all did the same job. From my first memory of traffic lights back in the 70’s as a primary school kid (yep, I’m an oldie, but still a goodie) they simply turned red, orange or green. There wasn’t hook turns, or arrows, or lights for trams or buses. But as we know, road infrastructure expanded, with freeway, tollways, bridges, and oodles more traffic, therefore that’s why they can’t be all the same.
Some boring stats for you to read.
Did you know (according to the Bureau of Statistics) that the population of Victoria in 1982 was just under 4 million people. As of last year, that number is almost double that. As for cars, back in 2006, a smidge under 3 million people owned a vehicle, compared to today that number is almost 4 million. 4 million cars out on the road of Victoria every single week! So, of course roads and traffic lights had to evolve to cope with all these cars. There you go, the boring stats are out of the way.
How do you know what to do with ones you haven’t seen before?
Practice in as many areas as you can. Whilst restrictions make this difficult in some cases, it is vital you get the opportunity to spread your wings. All too often I’m seeing some clients do all their hours within one hour of home. This can lead to deficiencies in gaining the knowledge of learning how to cope in heavy or remote situations. These include, driving through the city to get to the west coast, driving to the airport, driving to the city, going down the coast. All these types of road situations are so important. By driving in different situations, you will come across different types of traffic lights that you haven’t seen before.
Lights without arrows freak me out!
How often have you had the opportunity to turn right from traffic lights without arrows? It surprises me how many have never seen them up until I run them around a local test route and see one for the first time. I know it’s something you can’t control in your own suburb or area, but it’s still an important part of driving as they’re more widespread than you think. What do you think you should do? How can you be prepared to turn right without an arrow? What can you do to practice these turns? Want to learn more but fear trying? Make contact and I’ll guide you through. Make contact with me on 0422765843 or at www.driveskills4life.com.au
Until next time…Sarah