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Traffic Lights – Essential Traffic Control Systems

There can sometimes be a lot of mystery relating to how traffic lights work. However they operate in fairly straightforward manner. A traffic signal setup is comprised of a controlling device, traffic light signal heads and separate detectors.

The controlling device the 'intelligence' within the setup and includes the information required to force the lights through a series of changes. Traffic lights run under a range of various modes which can be reliant on location and time of day. Furthermore, they anticipate relative movement of traffic during a prerequisite period and adjust their operational sequence accordingly.

Vehicle flows are monitored via the detection device located either on the carriageway or above the road in overhead signal clusters. The controlling device then processes these demands and allocates the green, amber and red traffic light sequences in the most suitable way. Minimum and optimal green light sequence times are defined in the controller and cannot be altered. A car passing a detector will require a particular phase and once that phase is green any extra vehicles passing the detector will certainly trigger the signal stage to be extended. Moving traffic continues extending the green signal up until either the traffic demand ceases, a another carriageway is given a green light to proceed or a conflicting demand causes the maximum green timer to count down.

At some junctions, if the side roadways have lower volumes of traffic, they are configured for operation only when there is a traffic flow demand emanating from that street. This strategy is classed as being demand reliant. Pedestrian crossing facilities within junctions are typically demand dependent to ensure that traffic is stopped when a pedestrian is waiting to cross.

Fixed period operation traffic light systems will display green to each individual stream of traffic for the same time on every cycle irrespective of what the prevailing traffic conditions are like. This may be adequate in heavily crowded locations, however where a gently trafficked side roadway is included within the sequence, it is extremely inefficient if in some traffic light sequence cycles there are no automobiles waiting, as the time might be better assigned to a more flexible sequencing approach.

A variable sequencing mode is more responsive than fixed period operation. However, it can still be ineffective if there are long queues developing. The setting of maximum timers can be challenging due to modifications in traffic patterns through junctions. So, for that reason and to preserve reliable operation, the optimum timings need to be routinely updated. This can be a really laborious regime for highway maintenance authorities. As a result, it is not usually carried out that frequently, which in turn can result in traffic light signals ending up being less and less efficient with time.

Finding The Best Traffic Light Suppliers

With a wide variety of traffic light manufacturers to choose from, what is the best way to ensure that you get value for money?

This is a particularly relevant issue because there can be vast differences in both the price and quality of the products they provide. So if you are interested in dealing with highly reputable traffic light distributors, you should assess the original equipment manufacturers they deal with.

When you are responsible for a critical safety operation like traffic control, it is extremely important that you have access to all the prospective suppliers’ quality accreditations and evidence of successful use of their traffic light systems for other customer’s projects.

Therefore, you should always employ specialist traffic light distributors that have a great deal of expertise and plenty of practical “hands on” experience in providing quality signalling equipment.

So, you need to check with their current clients to check whether or not they are satisfied with the quality and service they have received. Most reputable distributors will possess a very long list of satisfied customers.

The cost of traffic light systems is another major issue to consider. Different suppliers will provide systems at different pricing points depending on where they are obtained and the sales commission they charge. Please avoid selecting the cheapest system available. Because you must ensure that you get real long term value for the investment you are going to be making.

Check the quality of traffic light system materials and components and their effectiveness in operation. There are numerous different suppliers and the quality of their systems will undoubtedly vary in line with the prices they charge. If you are interested in obtaining durable and reliable traffic signalling systems, you should only opt for high quality service and reputable service providers.

Traffic Light Safety

When you see that a traffic light is red, you should bring your vehicle to a stop gradually and smoothly. Do not be a hero because heroes are only found in major blockbuster films! Do not cross over the pedestrian line when you are approaching a red traffic control light.

Start moving your car just when the traffic light is completed turning to the color green. Do not progress until it turns green. When the light is amber, it is an indicator for the driver to start slowing down and come slowly to a stop. It is not a sign for the driver to increase the speed of their vehicle! Mishaps have actually been found to constantly take place throughout the amber time period. And when two vehicles from opposite directions do not wish to yield the “right of way”, they could meet head on and the horrific injuries from such a collision are typically fatal.

The real function of the amber light is to clear the junction so that the traffic from the other cross roads can have a clear unobtrusive view and unhindered carriageway for them to cross. In whatever the situation, you should never ever pass through the amber light when you are in the position to reduce the speed of your vehicle and come to a complete stop.

On many new junctions today, we are experiencing increased deployment of countdown timers at the lights. These provide a tremendous improvement for motorist safety and have lead to a significant reduction in accidents, injuries and deaths.