The latest rage is to stop two car lengths back at a stop light to set off the sensor for a turn arrow. My first thought is it is part of the me, I go first thinking, my second is what the heck. What do you think?
What if stopping two car lengths back isn’t close enough to trip the sensor? I have no problem tripping the sensor when I pull up to the white line. I have seen a light go through more than one cycle because great-great grandma couldn’t make it the extra 2 car lengths.
There are likely a number of sensors, not just one, so this might just not work to the driver’s advantage.
Well I guess in our town it may be different from yours, it takes 3 cars stacked in the turn lane to kick of a turn arrow so some have figured out stopping in the third spot even if they are the only one there they will get the arrow, thus making the opposing traffic wait, so they can go. Left turn on solid green is permitted.
I’ve not heard of this technique. I have used the similar technique of backing up and driving forward again to “fool” the sensor into thinking multiple cars have pulled up to the light. My father showed me this technique 25+ years ago at a certain intersection we used to pass through in an industrial section of town. If it wasn’t shift change time at one of the nearby factories, you absolutely would sit at that light all afternoon. Of course, as a little boy, I thought my dad was the smartest guy in the world that he thought of doing that.
I find this situation mostly where there is a side street connecting to a major thouroughfare. How long are you supposed to sit there and wait for someone to come up behind you? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? A half-hour?
On the flip side, I have often seen, at certain intersections (where you have to wait for the green arrow), the one person who wants to turn left has stopped BEYOND the sensor (‘cause everyone’s in such a flippin’ hurry nowadays). His turn is NEVER going to come until someone pulls in behind him, because the sensor doesn’t even know he is there. I have noticed that those people are usually yammering away on a cell phone…(i.e. oblivious of their surroundings). If you are in a position to stay within sight of the intersection for a minute or so, you will notice that that person will usually give up and just ‘run the light’ when he sees a clearing in the cross traffic.
If they stop 2 car lengths back, then just cut in front of them. When the light changes you get to make your turn first.
That way you keep traffic from stacking up behind them. You get the added bonus of going first and ticking them off at the same time. Once this happens to them a couple of times they’ll rethink the stopping so far from the light technique.
I have one light that has the sensor close to the stop bar. Many times I have been stuck there because they are not triggering the light because they are too far back.
If you are going to play games, please know the rules.
Apparently our lights are programmed differently in NH. I go through a number of trip lights on the way home from work, and they all trip almost immediately if there’s no traffic coming the other way and in a very reasonable timeframe if there is.
I’ve never heard of such a scheme for deciding when to trip the left turn arrow. Where I live, lights with left-turn arrows typically have a dedicated left-turn lane with sensors…or else they’re “dumb” lights, where the arrow (if available) cycles regardless of flow. More typically, lights lack left-turn signals altogether, and left-turning traffic is left to “fend for themselves” when turning.
Given that the signal in question allows left turns an the “all green” signal, my personal preference would be a Pittsburgh Left if first at the light: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Left
That way, the left is made without delaying opposing traffic unnecessarily, as a left arrow for only one car would.
I’ve done this a few times myself, though it isn’t exactly 2 car lengths back. Most of the sensor bars are visible on the road, so I go up to the light and stop just as my tires are over the back bar and rest on the 2 side bars.
Several intersections I’ve seen so many people drive right on past the stop bar, and past the sensor bars themselves, all the way up to the crosswalk markings. A few of those intersections(no turn arrows involved) will NOT change unless the sensor detects someone on the sensor bars