On a practical note, you should drive more slowly on US-23 to avoid getting caught in what traffic engineers call a dilemma zone. A dilemma zone can occur when the yellow light isn’t long enough to allow a driver to get into the intersection before it turns to red or to stop safely in advance of the intersection. Since the yellow time is based on the assumed speed of a vehicle, a driver going too fast could be putting himself or herself (and others) at risk.
State won’t replace ‘Prepare to Stop’ warnings on stretch of Rt. 23
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 3:06 AM
By Dean Narciso
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Real-estate agent Robert Horbatt has seen his share of bad accidents at Rt. 23 intersections in southern Delaware County, including a fatality near Highbanks Metro Park last year.
So three years ago, when the Ohio Department of Transportation removed “prepare to stop when flashing” signs from seven locations with signals, he was confused.
The yellow flashing lights alert motorists to slow when traffic lights ahead are about to turn red.
“If a tractor-trailer has a warning, he’s going to slow down,” Horbatt wrote in an e-mail. “I’ve seen so many trucks go through the lights. They need the warning that the light is turning red.”
The signals are better-suited to rural areas where “there are very few traffic signals and are usually spread far apart of the unexpected signal ahead,” responded Nancy Burton, spokesman for ODOT.
Among the Rt. 23 intersections that lost the warning lights were Powell, Orange, Home, Lewis Center and Hyatts roads.
Delaware County growth created more stoplights, which “makes the warning signs less necessary,” Burton wrote. “Furthermore, some motorists may use the warnings to speed up to get through the lights before they change.”
Crashes handled by the State Highway Patrol along the 22-mile stretch of Rt. 23 in Delaware County did rise slightly initially, said Sgt. Steven Herron, from a low of 310 in 2005 to a high of 364 in 2008, before dropping to 325 last year.