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Monday, November 22, 2004 

Start Your Engines

Strange Thing #19: Traffic lights go in the following order: Green, Yellow, Red, Yellow, Green, etc. This is different from American traffic lights which go: Green, Yellow, Red, Green.

It would seem to me that the extra yellow in the British system would lead to some sort of NASCAR related/James Deanesque drag racing scenario at every light in the country. Knowing exactly when the green was coming would only give you time to rev up the engine and start moving the clutch out, and then you could go tires squealing through every intersection. But maybe that doesn't happen here, because Americans are weird about our cars, i.e. mildly obsessed to the point of preferring to sit in an SUV on the beltway for three hours a day rather than take public transportation.

Oh but it does! Its the get ready! Ever been on the carriageway late at night in particular parts of town - the Boy Racer live and well and living in essex, or any suburb actually. Also more subtly, unless participating, it is VERY important to get away first, espeically if your car is crapper than the one beside you, particularly if its a merc or a beamer.

I take far too much pleasure from always being the first person to clear a junction, when on the bike. Bascially, as soon as the light goes red-yellow (not just yellow - otherwise approaching drivers wouldn't know whether to stop) I hit it full pelt and normally make it about 10 yards clear before the drivers catch up...

Ah, simple pleasures.

Actually traffic lights in UK go red - red and yellow - green - yellow - red

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