Funding needed to fix traffic lights problem - ministry source
Stabroek News
July 18, 2004

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An evaluation of current traffic signals and a detailed study into the positioning of several new ones has been completed and the results will be implemented once the necessary funding becomes available, a source at the Ministry of Public Works and Communications said.

Meanwhile, the source said, contracts have been awarded recently for the procurement and installation of a number of public road traffic signs. These signs the source said will be of a type that will allow drivers and other road users to recognise them from a reasonable distance and take the necessary precautions.

This newspaper has highlighted the several non-functioning traffic lights at city intersections and noted that there has been a number of vehicular accidents at these intersections. However Traffic Chief Michael Harlequin said that most of the accidents were the result of the negligence of drivers, particularly when approaching these intersections. He saw as a greater worry the frequency with which drivers currently flout traffic rules with seeming impunity and reiterated the need for a restoration of order.

Stabroek News has noticed some activity around some of the non-functioning traffic lights on Camp Street, which would appear to indicate that efforts were being made to fix them. But this is likely to be only temporary as, according to the source, all of the existing street signals are to be replaced when the new traffic signals programme comes on stream some time next year.

Some of these lights, the source said, are badly positioned while others are simply incapable of being programmed to meet current traffic volumes.

They have been around for several decades, are outdated and not in tune with modern traffic trends and needs.

It is anticipated that the new programme will utilise light emitting diodes (LEDs), which are used in the modern traffic signals in most western countries.

LEDs are tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit.

According to information on the internet site unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don't have a filament that will burn out, so they last much longer. Additionally, their small plastic bulb makes them a lot more durable.

They also fit more easily into modern electronic circuits.

But the main advantage is efficiency. LEDs generate very little heat, relatively speaking, so a much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably, the website says.