In Reply to: Depends how they are used. posted by MikeW on October 11, 1999 at 09:30:24:
: The reason people go so fast on this piece of road is that is that there is nothing to slow them down (straight road, little traffic, four lanes). A light in the middle, especially if it was timed correctly with the lights at either end, would serve that purpose nicely.
Studies have shown that this would not slow down the traffic since drivers would still speed between the lights. These "traffic studies" are often done in conjunction with a traffic engineering class (Polytechnic U. on Long Island is a major participant, being one of only two acredited universities in NY with a TE program) and are done when enough residents (or a politician) complain about speeding on specific roads (such as you describe). The light would create a congestion point where traffic would be forced to slow down (for red lights) but the distances between lights would still be open for speeding (and if you listen to some police officials creates a "drag strip situation"). For drivers that exceed the limit far enough (50 in a 30?) the light in dispute would not be red (it will have just changed to green or would not have started its next cycle yet) and would not alter the behavior of the offending driver.
Having a police vehicle fully marked and in broad view of the traffic would still provide the best deterrent to speed. The problem here is cost effectiveness and different departments across the US have been experimenting with alternatives (empty cars, cars with dummies, etc. . .)
One fundamental rule that seems to get broken far too often (politicians are clueless) is using traffic flow devices as speed control devices, especially stop signs.
: But they'd rather put a cop in their to make money. If you've seen the budget problems Nassau County is having, this is no suprise.
Nassau County is in deep doodoo and nobody there seems to have a clue what to do. Ticket revenues don't even cover the salaries of the police officers yet they'll try anything they can. There are laws regarding ticket revenues in fiscal budgets but I am not familiar with them and that is a lawyer battle anyway. . .