Distracted drivers causing delays at traffic lights

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Updated: 2/14/2013 10:59 am Published: 2/13/2013 10:27 pm

Many people complain about it, someone is at a traffic light and the person in front of them is paying more attention to their phone than to the traffic signals. 

It's happening in Tulsa and drivers and the city is taking note.

In Lafayette, Indiana, drivers with their noses in their phones forced the city to make some changes at traffic lights. The green lights there now last a little longer.

“We had to extend it to six seconds in order for it to clear the traffic out,” Fred Koning, Lafayette Traffic Foreman, said.

FOX23’s Adam Paluka talked with Tulsa’s traffic headquarters and asked the man in charge of Tulsa’s traffic lights if he's seen it here.

"Yeah, I think we probably all have,” Kurt Kraft said.

Drivers said they are sick of the inattentive driving.

"It is annoying because I'm in a hurry usually,” Holly Alvidrez said.

When FOX23 used a stopwatch for 20 minutes dozens of drivers were oblivious to the green light for an average of ten seconds. 

If someone hit three of those delays on their drive and they hit the road every day, they’d waste more than three hours a year all because of distracted drivers.

“Dang, that's a lot of time,” Alvidrez said.

Unlike Lafayette, Tulsa doesn't plan to tinker with its traffic control devices.

“(It’s) probably a moderate issue. I don't think it's as big as what you referenced to me in Indiana. I haven't had requests to change traffic signal timing just based on that,” Kraft said.

Kraft doesn’t want to punish drivers who are following the rules.

“The problem with doing that is then when people are paying attention it is unnecessarily long, so really people need to pay attention when they're behind the wheel.”

Police officers can ticket people who are not paying attention to the traffic signals can be ticketed for inattentive driving.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

wavoka - 2/14/2013 10:45 AM
0 Votes
Worse yet is when the police are the ones on their cell phones and driving inattentively. I was almost hit head on by a TPD officer in Tulsa Hills recently when he turned into the row I was attempting to exit. Luckily I saw him coming and was able to put my car in reverse and back out of his way. Even though I honked my horn I don't think he ever saw me.

WyoMoe - 2/14/2013 9:39 AM
0 Votes
How about we just ask the police to enforce the law? I have seen police sitting at the same lights as these inconsiderate dolts on their cell phones and the police do nothing!
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