THE GRIDLOCKSMITH, traffic safety activist, "Roads Scholar," former "Road Warrior" who lost a brother (aged,15) on the road in 1969, has compiled many observations and ideas about traffic safety after 3 decades of driving for a living. "Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? Set a safe example in traffic." You, too, can be a gridlocksmith. "Road-Peace is a step toward World Peace." - Earl Shoop

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Location: Silver Spring, MARYLAND, United States

Looking for what's logical, efficient, kind and fun... Traffic safety became a personal issue when my youngest brother died on the highway. I observed traffic unsafety while driving for a living(30yrs). Spread the word about "Road-Peace" as a step on the road to World Peace. Since those wise and gentle enough to create World Peace will not treat each other as we now do, in traffic, the road is a good place to focus our efforts. see

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


With gas prices going up, it occurs to me that many folks would enjoy this side benefit of "Mellow Yellow," saving gas.

What is "Mellow Yellow?"

First, let's get a feel for frantic yellow. When one is close to an intersection when the light turns yellow, especially in the age of red light cameras, one may get frantic. "If I stop, will I get clobbered from behind? If I go, will there be a ticket in the mail? Just how long is the light going to remain yellow?" A quick decision must be made. Sometimes, we may accidentally run a red light... or, get clobbered from behind. Since the actual length of time the light remains yellow can vary, it tends to be confusing. Some have even accused authorities of "shaving the yellow" to enhance revenues.

"Mellow Yellow" to the rescue!

Wouldn't it be nice to be twice as far from the intersection when the yellow light warns that we should consider stopping?

That is what "Mellow Yellow" will do. Here is how: the yellow light period is doubled, so that it overlaps the green light. When the green disappears, half the yellow is done. This means that if the driver has not covered at least half the distance to the intersection since the yellow appeared, stopping is in order. In fact, as folks get used to being aware earlier of the impending red light, they may elect to save gas by coasting to the light.

An additional bonus: improved traffic flow for those on the other side of the intersection waiting to make a left turn. A larger gap between those who proceed through the intersection and those who are stopping should materialize. As people realize that gas prices won't rise as fast if we do everything we can to help each other conserve gas, that gap could grow even more.

The safety implications of "Mellow Yellow" are obvious; who wants to get ticketed when it is so easy to avoid? And they can't complain about "shaving the yellow!"

Perhaps insurance rates could improve in communities with "Mellow Yellow." Hmmm...

What are your thoughts? Please, feel free to comment. Should it be implemented first at camera locations? What sort of public education would be needed?

Comments on the (70 or so) bumper sticker designs will also be appreciated...