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The first car to stop at a traffic light? Be sure to turn on the sensors to enable light change detection

Some people, if not most of us, have encountered this situation before, be it the driver of the vehicle at the front of the queue or the person somewhere behind the vehicle in the first line. . The driver of the vehicle arrived at the point where the traffic light had just turned red and so they were the first in the queue.

Perhaps it was a time of intense sunshine at that time of day, as is often the case in our climate, and in fact they stopped their vehicle a short distance from the white line to stop. back in the dark, or it was a moment of inattention. Traffic from other directions at this intersection turned twice, possibly more, and the first driver – and others behind them – continued to wait.

Why did the green light cycle overtake them? When they stopped their vehicle a short distance from the white line, they inadvertently avoided the inductive loop detector located below the pavement, where the first vehicle in the queue would stop.

An inductive loop detects large, heavy metal objects such as vehicles, and if there is no vehicle above the inductive loop, the system triggers another traffic light cycle that won’t know to let the vehicle go. pass.

Note also that in the images we have taken here, the inductive loops on two of the three lanes on this shown road are oriented horizontally. If you are driving a considerably smaller car, or if you are riding a motorcycle and you have already passed the loops – easier to do when the aforementioned loops are horizontal and therefore take up a shorter length in the direction of travel – it is likely that the loop will not be able to detect your vehicle and allow you to pass with a green light. So going too far forward is not good either.

Hopefully this has shed some more light on why traffic light cycles don’t work the way we thought. When you’re driving the first car in the queue at a traffic light, be sure to stay close enough ahead to be spotted.

Conversely, if you are stuck behind the vehicle in front, perhaps a few short horn beeps will suffice. Maybe a gentle wave to signal them. However, don’t rely on your whistle for too long, as that can contribute to a much more vivid kind of interaction.


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