Red, yellow, or green is what a traffic light is supposed to show at any given instance. Replacing or with and, like what happened in Lebanon recently, not only defeats the purpose of the device but risks the lives of drivers and pedestrians alike.
YASA for Road Safety posted a critical tweet showing the stoplight at the Chevrolet intersection toward Hazmiyeh with its three colors illuminated simultaneously.
“Believe it or not,” YASA captioned the image, attracting sarcastic comments about the current state of Lebanon’s traffic control.
One Twitter user posted a similar photo showing a traffic light with the red and yellow colors shining together, saying this had recently happened in downtown Beirut also.
Others noted that the traffic lights in other areas have been turned off completely for a long time.
Around 70% of Beirut’s traffic lights, which are supposed to represent authority and control, have been in the dark for over three months in many of Beirut’s major streets and intersections.
Since then, confused drivers have been left with nothing but their instinct and the hyper-road-awareness that they had developed and sharpened over many years of driving around Lebanon’s underdeveloped roads.
However, with the absence of the means to enforce order, chaos becomes inevitable despite all individual efforts to curb it.
Loud honking mixed with a lot of aggressive cussing and dangerous driving has become much more commonplace than before in the areas with failed traffic control.
So, why are these stoplights off, and what will it take to bring order back to the roads?
Though it’s a very complicated matter with a long story, Governor of Beirut Marwan Abboud recently noted in a TV talk that the traffic lights’ maintenance generally depends on the revenues generated by parking meters.
Hence, since many of Lebanon’s park meters have been rarely used lately, and due to the power outage crisis, the Traffic Management Center has been unable to repair the current faults in the traffic-flow devices.
“These faults will be fixed within a month and a half,” he said, less than two weeks ago.
Of course, the inevitable question is: How many more accidents, injuries, and deaths will result from this embarrassing failure before the said period passes?