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Friday 29 August 2014

Judge's call for new 'blue traffic light' dismissed

Mark O'Regan

Published 09/04/2014 | 17:21

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Judge Anthony Halpin
Judge Anthony Halpin

Road safety chief Gay Byrne has dismissed a suggestion by a controversial judge that "blue traffic lights" should be introduced.

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Judge Anthony Halpin made his comments when dealing with a driver who had broken a red light, arguing that a new blue light, to add to the existing amber one, would cut down on accidents.

The driver in the case had increased his speed when he saw the light was amber.

The outspoken judge said: "Maybe we should consider introducing a light between amber and a red.

"Could you convey this to the authorities? The amber light isn't working. When people see it, they speed up."

He suggested a blue light could be used on traffic lights systems.

However, veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne said he doesn't believe such a measure would have any real impact on curbing road fatalities.

"It doesn't sound to me like a good thing in so far as some people will try to cheat the traffic lights at every chance they get," Mr Byrne told The Herald.

"It all comes down to bad driving, and I think the traffic lights system is perfectly adequate the way it is."

He didn't think people "speeding up" when they see the amber light is any bigger an issue now than it has been in the past, he said.

MOTORISTS

He also said that certain motorists have a tendency to "try and beat the lights every time" which is reflective of other bad driving habits.

"Everybody knows what's the right thing to do -- but getting them to do it is the thing," he added.

Two weeks ago Judge Halpin made headlines when he told his court that "Muslims feel they can actually beat their wives".

Judge Halpin later apologised for his remarks.

A Department of Transport spokesman said there would have to be a "clear and proven need" to introduce changes to the current traffic light system.

He also pointed out it could only be considered in an international context, and no such proposal is currently in place.

"The red, amber, green traffic light system, is an international standard in the vast majority of countries. It has formed the basis of road signalling in Ireland for years.

"Any proposal to change traffic light signalling would have to be the subject of extensive consideration," he added.

Evening Herald

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