Will a traffic signal reduce crashes at our intersection?
Traffic signals don't always prevent crashes. In many instances, the total number of crashes and injuries increase after they're installed.
Where signals are used unnecessarily, the most common results are a reduction in right-angle collisions but an increase in total crashes, especially the rear-end type collision. In addition, pedestrians are often lulled into a false sense of security.
In deciding whether a traffic signal will benefit a particular location the following criteria will be evaluated:

• Does the number of vehicles on intersecting streets create confusion or congestion?
• Is main street traffic so heavy that drivers on the side street will try to cross unsafely?
• Are there enough pedestrians trying to cross a busy main street to create a hazard?
• Does the number of school children crossing a street require special controls for their protection?
• Will a signal allow for continuous, uniform traffic flow with a minimum number of vehicle stops?
• Does an intersection's crash history indicate that a signal will reduce the possibility of a collision?

Our staff will compare the existing conditions against nationally accepted minimum standards established by The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - Section 4C. At intersections where standards have been met, the signals generally operate effectively with good public compliance. Where not met, compliance is generally reduced resulting in additional hazards.
While a properly placed traffic signal improves the flow and decreases crashes, an unnecessary one can be a source of danger and annoyance to all who use an intersection: pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Show All Answers

1. How do I get a traffic signal installed?
2. Will a traffic signal reduce crashes at our intersection?
3. How do I get a stop sign installed? (Includes additional signs at existing 2-way stops)
4. Why do I have to wait so long at a traffic signal?
5. So how does Athens-Clarke County time its traffic signals?
6. How do I report a missing or damaged street sign?
7. How can I get my curb painted yellow?
8. What about installing Children at Play signs?
9. Wouldn't additional speed limit signs help to slow traffic?
10. Who maintains traffic signals in Athens Clarke County?
11. Who maintains Flashing School Zone Lights?
12. How do signals for pedestrians work?
13. Is it possible for two conflicting directions of traffic at a signalized intersection to receive green lights at the same time?
14. What happens to Athens Clarke County traffic signals when they lose power?
15. Why does a traffic signal change for no reason when vehicles are not present?
16. What are the cameras at traffic signals for?
17. How much does a traffic signal cost?
18. How do I report a damaged or malfunctioning traffic signal?