Stopping at Red Lights – optional in Philly
“Free-for-all”, “lawless”, “do-as-you-please” are phrases that I would use to describe Philly driver habits! Literally every day in every part of the city I witness cars, buses, delivery trucks, and other vehicles blowing through red lights like it’s nobody’s business. I mean, in most cases, the lights didn’t just turn red – they were already red for a while before drivers blew past them. Then, there are those that get tired of sitting at a red light and THEN decide to just run it. I’m not talking about just nighttime in quiet parts of town either. This happens in broad daylight at busy intersections too.
Why? Number one, there is absolutely NO enforcement of driving laws in Philly. Police (oh, they run red lights too!) are not looking for these drivers and, more importantly, unlike in many other cities/States (go to DC, or Maryland, or Virginia), there are almost no red light cameras in Philly. Number two, with all the potholes (see my previous post), the construction, and road closures, driving in Philly is already chaotic and difficult, so not obeying the driving laws is fully accepted and mimicked throughout the city. Number three, maybe the Police are busy with other things (see my post about potholes and police “babysitting” construction sites) such as patrolling crime ridden areas.
Nonetheless, there seems to be no appetite or concern among law enforcement or city officials to tackle this problem. It’s not a matter of capacity or ability, it seems it’s a matter of desire to not do anything about it. I’d like to know why. I’d like to know what their “answer” or response would be to the questions “what are you doing about this problem?” or “why, aren’t you doing anything about this problem?” Maybe it’s too hard. Maybe it’s too expensive. Maybe there is something in the works (I doubt it). But, as with anything, you have to do something, no matter how small, to make progress. Just remember, in a city that already has aggressive drivers who drive too fast, that next red light you run may just cost you more than you bargained for.