Sunday, February 08, 2009

Red Light, Green Light

Yesterday, after a pretty lazy day, I drove across town shortly after sunset. I was driving along in a bit of a fog. (I know--not a good combination!) At my first big intersection I waited for a green light. And I promptly ran a red light. Fortunately the car turning left didn't gun it and insist on taking the right of way. I pulled over, quite shaken and waited for traffic to pass.

So, what gives? I've been in New Mexico for 5 1/2 years, but I am still not used to the lights here. In California our traffic lights were vertical (one on top of another). Ocassionally there was a second vertical signal for left turns. Here in NM our lights are horizontal. And the left turn arrow is in the middle, not on the far left. Several times a week I see at least one car start to go when the green arrow turns. But most people stop before they get through the crosswalk.

I am so thankful that the driver opposite me was not one of those drivers who just dash out without watching. And can I add...I'm thankful there was not a police officer at that intersection.

BTW...I was surprised when I googled "traffic lights" how may many weird configurations there were. I found this page with a bunch of links to traffic signs.

This one isn't exactly what NM's lights look like, but it's close.  Notice how the left turn light is NOT the farthest left.

This is close to what I'm used to.  Notice how the main light has 2 columns.  The left turn light is on the far left.


Anonymous said...

wow those lights sound confusing!
Be Safe

Colleen said...

It is confusing moving to different areas and getting used to the lights. I know I had to get used just seeing the lights when I moved. Where I first lived they were overhead horizontally...then where I live now they are on the corners. It took a bit for me to actually notice them all the time. Then just recently I had to figure out the round abouts. I had never really driven with those before and wasnt quite sure who had the right of way and such.

Wendy said...

EVERYTHING in new mexico is a mess.


(former new mexicana)