Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Red Man Green Man

Interesting experience on the cab ride back. I was accessing Twitter Mobile, at the back seat with my leg crossed, when the cab driver suddenly went 'WHOA' and braked rather hard. I looked up to see the Celica in front of us doing the same, forcing my cab driver to braked even harder a second time. Both cars honked at the guilty cab right at the front.

At first the cabbie went into usual Singaporean spiel... 'What the hell is he doing, suddenly stop like that, middle lane somemore... nanananananana~'. I offered suggestions probably the passenger gave last-minute directions leading the cab driver to a slight panic, or that another vehicle turned out of... turn and cut across its path, both of which my cabbie denied. Finally he offered that the cabbie mistook the green light for a red.

I was rather incredulous and expressed my sentiments, saying 'I should think the green and red is distinguishable enough'. And the cab driver said, 'No, he mistook the red man for a red stop light. Nowadays the man very big, very bright.'

Valid point. Which naturally leads to the question, are the new LED lights that are meant to make traffic lights clearer for drivers and pedestrians to see confusing them instead? Cabbie do drive long shifts and the mental and visual fatigue is more than understandable. It's a good thing that the Celica and my cabbie was paying attention to the road. The mistake, if it was even so, would just as easily have ended up in a horrific pile-up.

As a driver, have you ever been confused by the pedestrian lights? Do you think what the cabbie says holds truth? And what can the LTA do to improve the situation?

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