Turkey's Blinking Traffic Lights Superior to USA's

    Dear Editor,

    It was your average, sunny San Diego afternoon and I was hastily cruising down La Jolla Village Drive trying to get to school on time. As I approached the Genesee Avenue/La Jolla Village Drive intersection, something happened that has probably happened to all of us. As I was getting closer to the lights the green suddenly turned yellow. I was already past of the point of no return, as in “slow down boy,” so I had two options: either I was going to blast through the yellow and hopefully pass the intersection before the light turned red, or make a very, very painful stop and wait for the light to turn green again while enjoying the aroma of burnt rubber. What did I do? Well, that’s not the point of this letter.

    Having encountered this dilemma many times, I have now generated a phobia of approaching green lights from a distance. I always question myself, “Has it been green for awhile?” or “Has it just turned green?” Simultaneously, I get ready to put on some Formula 1 moves. Yes, Formula 1, that’s what we Europeans watch (not that there are many maneuvers). To be honest, it’s not pleasant. I have thought of some solutions but nothing has been as pleasant as what I witnessed this past year while I was visiting my home country, Turkey. The traffic lights there (yes, we have cars!) have an interesting twist to them. As the green light approaches its end it starts blinking, notifying the driver by basically saying, “Heads up, I am about to turn yellow.” If this were implemented in California, drivers who were 100 feet away from a green light that’s blinking would start slowing down instead of keeping a constant speed and then having to decide what to do as soon as the light turns yellow 50 feet from the intersection. Think about it — how many people are there that get into accidents just because they thought they could pass it? OK, I am not saying what they did is right but I honestly believe that if you do not put that driver in that worrisome position in the first place, maybe he or she would make a more conscious decision.

    What would this change require? I don’t know, maybe a reprogramming of the software? We know that the lights are capable of blinking, especially for the people who drive late at night. Is it too much to ask?

    — Ahmet Kaan Ozkarahan
    Thurgood Marshall College senior

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal