Friday, September 28, 2012

Stop Running Red Lights On Quail Street!

Is it just me or do the traffic lights in Albany switch a little too quickly? I can't count the number of times I've been headed up or down Madison Ave. and watched someone speed across the intersection while my light was turning green. This usually happens, of course, as the intersecting street's traffic light goes from yellow to red and drivers who are either going too fast to slow down in time or just want to make the light don't make it in time. In my opinion, people speeding up to beat the red light make up the majority of the problem. I say this because you can usually hear their engine rev as they step on the gas at the last second. It's a dangerous situation and I'm surprised I haven't witnessed more car accidents - although they do happen. 

Maybe I just seem to notice the problem more in this area, but this always seems to happen where Quail St. crosses Madison. I consider it good driving practice to brake early and just sit out the red light no matter where you are, but I think this is particularly important around the Quail St. intersection. People will always try to beat the red light. It seems to be a nationwide phenomenon. In general, though, it seems a lot of the traffic lights in the City of Albany could use a little more wait time to help keep any of these last-dash drivers from colliding with other cars coming across the intersection on a green light. 

 Running a red light (VTL 1111 - Passed Red Light) is only a 3 point violation (the same as speeding 1-10mph over the speed limit). Although you and I witness it all the time, here at the Law Office of Randall E. Kehoe, we hardly ever get calls for these types of tickets but speeding remains one of the most common violations. You and I will probably agree that passing a red light at an intersection is far more dangerous than driving a little faster than the posted speed limit. Attorney Warren Redlich makes some good points about some of the shortcomings of New York's point system on his blog.

Whatever your opinion may be on this topic, remember that the vehicle you operate likely weighs well over 3,000 lbs. At any speed, these can turn into dangerous weapons causing irreversible, serious injury or even take a life. As annoying as it may be to wait an extra 30 seconds at a red light, remember that the Vehicle & Traffic laws have been established to maintain order among the millions of relatively inexperienced drivers on the road every day. If courtesy and common consideration are not enough motivation for you, local officers and State Troopers are on the patrol every day in every municipality in New York state, ready and waiting to issue a ticket or arrest. Rules are strict and penalties are steep in our state with a difficult point system and high fines and special assessment fees. If you do get into trouble, let us know, even if it is for passing a red light. 

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