Letter: Red light jumpers are the problem

Red light jumpers are the problem at Copley crossroads
Red light jumpers are the problem at Copley crossroads

Further to Mike Jenning’s letter (Courier, Friday, December 2) I sympathise, but this problem is not confined to the Copley crossroads and is a seemingly increasing and widespread phenomenon.

Many years ago there was a TV campaign warning us not to be an “amber gambler” and showing the possible disastrous consequences of that. Now most drivers totally ignore the amber light, and some always run through on red.

Some authorities have tried to reduce the problem by increasing the “all red” phase, but that delays us all (and arguably increases air pollution). Cameras are obviously expensive to install and operate, so maybe random checks by road traffic police can prove to be a deterrent, especially when word gets around.

As a former instructor of advanced driving I can offer the following advice:

If waiting at red lights, look both ways when moving off when the lights change, and don’t change gear when crossing the junction – either hold first gear until across or make a quick change to second before you enter the junction. That way you are in full control of your vehicle and can accelerate away if necessary to clear the danger.

When approaching green traffic lights drop a gear (preferably by matching the engine revs to the road speed so the clutch doesn’t slip) and again look both ways. After all, the lights may change anyway. Again we will have more control for any evasive action.

These measures won’t guarantee to prevent a collision, but can certainly help to avoid one. As the saying goes “Forewarned is forearmed”. If we see these red-light jumpers we can take evasive action but if we drive as if “blinkered” we are much more vulnerable.

David Johnson, Edward Street, Sowerby Bridge