Mister Y’s mysteries (part 8): Crossing over

Pedestrian crossing light

At South African traffic lights*, why does the green light stay on for such a short time for pedestrian crossings? It’s only green for a few seconds before it turns red again – which is usually not enough time for the average person  to cross the road. The light then flashes red for quite a while longer – even though cars must still remain stationary (since the light is still red for them).

Is it a cruel joke to encourage people to run across roads? Or did the initial designers just grossly miscalculate the timing?

Is it like this in other countries too?

* In South Africa, we call our traffic lights “robots”. Apparently, that amuses people from other countries.

4 thoughts on “Mister Y’s mysteries (part 8): Crossing over

  1. So in Egypt, the traffic light actually shows a green man running when its time for pedestrians to cross (which makes you feel you should run too!), the only problem is that the cars don’t necessarily stop regardless of how much time you have to cross…

  2. They have traffic lights? Since when? 🙂

    I have this impression that it’s an Arab thing: no traffic lights, and you just walk when you can – and the cars stop for you. Is that the MIddle East in general, or just some countries?

    • On very rare occasions there are traffic lights – but generally you do just walk when you can and risk your life!
      I don’t have much experience in other arab countries, but I can say for sure, there is no place like Egypt. Absolute madness and mayhem but I love it.
      The UK is completely different, for sure you get enough time to cross, I mean can you see us Brits running? lol nah.

  3. I don’t know about other Arab countries, but from what I remember, Madinah and Makkah is like that too. And my fears came true in Aziziah – I was trying to cross and got hit by a bike. It wasn’t really my fault though – these kids and their bikes are insane, and an article I read recently confirmed that the government there is also waking up to the problem:

    THe whole thing though really illustrates the variety of different cultures and expectations. Arabs probably look at us as being weird for having these traffic lights and such ‘order’ 😉

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