Courtesy of Garret Vyn Photography….
Across vast swaths of our nations, From the Land of Lakes to San Antoine, from the Colorado Rockies to the west shore of the Mississippi, people know how to act when a traffic light turns green… All eyes are on the red light, and when it turns green every car in queue, steps on the gas at the same time and the whole line moves through the light as one block and head down open road…
In Delaware, probably only the first car is watching the light change. It pulls out.. The second car suddenly realizes the light is green and steps on the gas. this alerts the 3rd driver that the light has changed, so they put down their stuff, and head down the road….
So if the light is quick, and you are the 4th car, you have to await two cycles before you go through… If you are the 8th car in a line, it takes 3 cycles to get through an intersection.
We all know that texting or phones are the distracter. We have laws to limit texting in the drivers seat that which are unenforceable. Everyone texts when their car is stopped at a light.
This is costly to society… You waste 4 minutes at some intersections waiting for a cycle to change. On a single commute there are three such intersections on your route… Potentially every trip you waste 12 minutes unproductive at lights. Return the same way and it doubles to 24 minutes each working day… A 5 day work week cumulates to 120 minutes or exactly 2 hours. If you get two weeks vacation, deducting that, you lose 100 hours each work year…. just sitting at lights… Now that is not much of a percentage of your time, considering there are 8766 hours per year.
But take those 100 wasted hours per person, and multiply them by Delaware’s population, (1 million) then the wastes to Delaware’s quality of life, 100 million wasted hours in Delaware because people do not know how to obey green lights…
There are times when I too was not paying attention… The righteous honk by a car behind me wisely alerts me the light is green and there are zero cars between it and myself, so I’d better stomp on it…
Point is; I’m grateful for the honk. It is not rude..
So the challenge was how to roll this out to society…
First the vision.
2 lines of cars 8 deep, making a left turn on a 5 second green, 3 second yellow light. The light turns green and all 16 cars immediately hit their horns.. That is the Delaware Honk.
The one car still texting that will hold up the entire line, drops their phone and steps on the gas… “ Tis a consumation devoutly to be wish. .” Instead of 5 cars making it through, 16 do…
And that is the point of the Delaware Honk.
The only problem is that when people get honked at, it usually means they have done something wrong. Therefore it is important for both government and democracy to take time to educate the public why we are doing this… : shave 4 minutes off our commute.
Billboards across the state announcing the policy. And legal legislation stating that all citizens in cars are required to honk whenever the light turns green.
But it will take a few brave souls to get it started … Are you willing to honk your horn at every new green light you see? it is an idea from the future, whose time has come.