I inadvertently ran a red light today. Yea, it happens. I’ve probably done it maybe 5 times total in 10 years of driving.
The problem is, the intersection that I happened to cross (Park Presidio and Geary) has a camera that captures you as you go by.
I’m probably not going to fight the ticket, but in my defense I’d like to point out the extremely poor design (IMHO) of the lights at that intersection.
If you’ve ever driven on Geary, you know that there are tons of lights. And they are all overhanging, in the middle of the road. At night particulary, you see a long row of lights stretch out in to the distance, and they are all fairly close together.
Except for Park Presidio and Geary. Here the lights for the east-west directions (on Geary) are the corner-lightpost style. So if you’ve been driving down Geary for a few blocks, and you’re expecting lights in the center of the road and above you, you will likely not see these lights. Furthermore, because the lights on Geary are spaced closely together, it’s easy to confuse a light slightly farther down the road as the next upcoming one.
That’s exactly what I did. As I was going eastward on Geary crossing Park Presidio, I saw the 12th avenue lights and assumed those were the next ones I would have to worry about. And they were green.
Worse yet, I happen to cross exactly at the moment that the real lights had turned red, but the Park Presidio traffic had not yet started to move. I’m sure I wouldn’t have driven straight into an intersection that had six lanes of intersecting traffic.
Furthermore, the camera that actually captures you is hanging from above! Why can’t they just put the damn traffic light up there as well?

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