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posted: 2/9/2010 12:01 AM

'Countdown' lights could help motorists

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Without going into the merits/demerits of red light cameras, I would like to make a request of the municipalities, police departments, city councils etc. who have implemented them or are going to implement them, within their jurisdiction.

In downtown Chicago, there are (or were at one time in the recent past) "countdown" indicators at many pedestrian crossings to indicate the time left before a green pedestrian light changes to red. In fairness to the driving public and in the interest of safety, I would like to request these municipalities, police departments, city councils, etc. install similar "countdown" indicators at all such intersections, to indicate the seconds left before a green light turns to red.

This will not only help the drivers to decide whether to continue proceeding through the intersection or slow down and stop at the light, but it will also help prevent avoidable accidents. At present many drivers are unable to judge the time left before the light turns so they either accelerate to beat the light or brake to avoid crossing on red. Abrupt acceleration can cause broadsiding crossing traffic, abrupt braking can cause rear-ending. I am sure most of your readers will agree that my request will make the system fairer to John Q. Public and I hope it will be taken in the spirit that it is being made.

Aspy Daboo