Enlightening information


In the discussions over whether there should be traffic lights at the corner of Treelands Drive and Yamba Road, I have never once heard whether they would be fixed-time or smart lights. This is essential information to determine whether traffic lights are right for this intersection.

Fixed time lights are cheap, but operate all day and all night at regular and consistent intervals. This would be totally inappropriate for this intersection as the lights are only needed during busy periods and, even then, traffic flows vary considerably. At night there is usually no traffic at all anywhere near the intersection. Traffic unnecessarily waiting with engines idling at red lights produce large amounts of extra engine emissions, promote road rage, waste time and encourage drivers to use other residential roads to avoid the lights.

Dynamic or smart lights use road sensors and controllers. They minimise delay, increase compliance and ensure that traffic flows smoothly. They could be switched off at night or kept flashing amber as is done elsewhere. They might cost more but they are the only type we should consider at this intersection if the council renege on their decision to install a roundabout.

Andrew Soesan, Yamba