Letter: UDOT not reliable on red-light frequency

Published December 25, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I find it fascinating that the article on hitting a red in Utah reports just a 1 in 4 chance of hitting a red, which was determined by UDOT, the same group that created and manages the light system ("Odds of hitting a red light in Utah? Just 1 in 4," Tribune, Dec. 23). In the spirit of UDOT, I created by own internal testing system.

I used an independent source (my wife, who assures me that she is independent). Testing took place in the greater Holladay, Millcreek and Sugar House areas on Dec. 23 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Seven reds of 13 total opportunities or 53.8 percent were found by one driver (gender withheld for privacy reasons), and four reds of eight total opportunities or 50 percent were found by a second driver.

Additionally, when no other cars are present, one driver regularly experienced being held at a red light with a camera pointed directly at the waiting driver. The system regularly has trouble determining that the red light should turn green, as no other cars are present.

While I applaud the efforts of UDOT, I would like an independent evaluation of the performance of the system. I would be happy if I only had to stop 28 percent of the time, "thanks to the timing of signals aimed at pushing groups of vehicles together."

Roland Bernabe

Salt Lake City