Why do Drivers Speed Up at Red Lights in Residential Neighbourhoods?

Why do people feel the need to increase their speed at red lights in residential neighbourhoods? Not that it is a safe practice on other roads, but it seems more shocking to me in these situations. Are they not paying attention, or distracted and don’t notice that the light has long since changed from yellow to red? Or are they just in a hurry to shave two seconds off the time it takes to get to the next traffic light or stop sign common in most residential neighbourhoods?

I just returned from picking up my son at school where I witnessed such an incident at the intersection of Castlefrank Road and the off ramp from the westbound 417. I was heading north on Castlefrank and had stopped at the red light as had two cars in front of me (that shows you how long the light was red) A white cube van was coming south on Castlefrank, but didn’t bother to stop at the same red light.  I had to laugh at the comical face (good recovery from the shocked/surprised look he must have been wearing 5 seconds earlier) on the driver who waited patiently for the truck to speed through the intersection before proceeding to turn left onto Castlefrank from the 417 off-ramp. It’s a good thing he wasn’t in a hurry too, or I might have been a witness to a much more gruesome incident.  We exchanged smiles as he drove past me and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say “what was that?”…

I see this happening at least three times a week, at that particular intersection as well as the one a few blocks south at Castlefrank and Kakulu Rds. This second intersection is on the route for my evening walk; we push the button to get the walk signal to cross, but always wait to ensure the drivers are planning to stop, as many drivers speed up to get through the intersection even though their light has changed to red. This intersection is particularly worrisome as the speed limit is only 40 and many children must cross here to get to their schools.

Slow down folks, especially in the residential neighbourhoods!

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens. Her other interests include reading and writing. Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca

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