Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Right on Red, Right?

I wish Michigan would make up its mind: either have "right turn on red," or don't.

I have no clue what the criteria is to decide whether you're allowed to turn right on red at any given intersection.

In some instances, it would appear that right on red would be totally out of the question---because of how busy the corner is. Yet, it's allowed. In other cases, right on red would seem like a slam dunk, but yet it's disallowed.

Or, you can turn right on red only during certain hours of the day, to make matters even more confusing.

I think they're just messing with our brains.

Lack of consistency is a problem all over the traffic rules map in Michigan. Maybe in other states as well.

Let's look at intersections with lights dedicated to left-hand turns.

Who goes first?

Most lights are programmed so that the folks going straight ahead get the green light first, followed by the left turn people.

But in some cases---12 Mile and John R in Madison Heights, for example---the left turn people go first. Don't ask me why.

To make matters worse, the above mentioned light's pattern changes at night. Sometimes the straight ahead people go first; sometimes the left turn people get skipped, having to wait for another cycle. It's unlikely that this is the only example of such craziness.

Another mind game that they play on us is "Guess where the 'No Turn on Red' sign is."



Finding a sign similar to this one often becomes a shell game at any given intersection in Michigan


Ease up to any intersection at a red light and look for the sign that tells you that you are forbidden to turn right on red---again, you have to look for such a sign because of the aforementioned inconsistency---and tell me what you end up doing.

First thing you look for is the good old-fashioned sign sticking up from the ground near the corner. You don't see one, but you don't trust that---because, once again, sometimes you can turn right on red, sometimes you can't.

Next is to look up, near the light itself---for sometimes they dangle a big white boxy sign that says "NO TURN ON RED."

But in still other instances, the "no turn" sign is located on a street light pole, near the "Walk/Don't Walk" indicator.

It's the road commission's shell game, essentially.

I adore being able to turn right on red. In my mind, it's one of the greatest rules changes ever invented. But it's like Michigan can't quite embrace it totally.

Ladies, how about this analogy: "right on red" is the long-term relationship, and Michigan is the man who can't commit to it.

I'm just asking the powers that be to make up their mind.

Either have "right turn on red," or don't. Simple as that. I vote for having it, but that's just me. I'll abide by whatever you decide.

Just DO IT, ALREADY!

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