Read an article in todays paper about traffic lights and suggested changes, so I went to the horses mouth, here's the link - http://www.racfoundation.org/ Some of it is good, some quite scarey! I especially don't like the flashing amber bit!!
I've often wondered why we don't have the flashing amber system already, after peak hours it makes sense in theory and it does work in other countries.
Though I would much rather they put in those floor sensors at traffic light systems to eliminate the need for relying on peoples decisions if it was clear or not, so you still have the safety of a light system showing you have right of way.
In some ways it may work, sadly though, many drivers in the UK have very poor road awareness in general, and will use the flashing amber as an excuse to maintain their speed and race through a junction!!! The other worrying factor is the reducing the time to cross at pedestrian crossings - no thought seems to have been given to the more infirm members of our society. Having in the past helped elderly folk cross at lights and have drivers shouting abuse because you are not moving quickly enough can be quite daunting. It seems to be geared up to moving the traffic density around our urban areas faster rather than looking at viable public transport that would take uneeded vehicles from the road and thus reduce pollution!!
I think if they are reducing the green time for peds they need to get Stannah Stairlifts involved as sponsors perhaps to add their product to crossings to assist the infirm or elderly crossing at speed?
Either that or add a catapult on each side of the road maybe?
Possibly the flashing amber introduces an element of doubt in the motorist, who therefore slows down a bit and pays attention ?
I know near us there are some lights which seem to change very quickly from amber, which means drivers have a very short decision time. The panicky ones slam the brakes on and the idiot ones accelerate to avoid red. Quite often on the way to school, a car shoots across at the last second, just as we are about to put a foot on the road.