Re: Show this to the Mexican police
"The alternative is to just obey the rules"
The whole point is that it can be *impossible* to obey the rules. If there is insufficient time to clear the junction between the time the light turns amber to the time it turns red, you can never guarantee that you will not be in the junction when the light changes to read, and so are hostage to fortune.
Erm - the whole point is that the engineer showed that the duration of the yellow was *too short* to cope with a worst-case scenario. Of course there are relatively few people who get caught out that way, simply because there is a low probability of arriving at the lights at exactly the worst possible moment.
In NZ the answer to both questions is the same and very straightforward.
#1 It is illegal to enter an intersection if your exit is blocked. Sure, lots of people do it and enforcement is lax, but it is an offence that you could be ticketed for.
#2 It is illegal to be travelling through a light-controlled intersection if the light is red. We even have cameras in a few places now to catch you (though I wish bigger fines for runners). If the light changes to red while you're in the intersection, you've failed and have earned a ticket (no ifs buts or maybes, if the rear of your vehicle hasn't exited the intersection by the time the light changes you can be done). It is up to YOU to stop when the light changes to amber, if you can do so safely before entering the intersection (and again, you must also be able to exit the intersection).
and the key part, #3 - the lights are timed for a worst-case scenario. Aside from very rare glitches (I've seen one once in 30 years of driving and >40 years of paying attention to lights) the lights are timed to give anyone with a road-worthy vehicle time to safely stop. If you're not in a road-worthy vehicle you're committing another offence anyway.
There's also often a slight delay on the next green as a bit of a grace for those who're getting the green, in case some idiot has gone through a red. On 30-50lph roads that delay is only a second or so, on some 100kph roads I notice it's a good 3 or 4 seconds, maybe even 5 seconds of all red lights before the next green.
But it's a simple system. Drivers are not allowed to enter the intersection on amber unless they're so close they cannot safely stop when the light changes (and the timings are based around trucks as well who have a lot harder time slowing down - although a pro would be slowing down expecting the change), and it's an offence to be in an intersection on a red light. If your exit is blocked then you're not allowed in.
I often drive through Melling/Block Rd/SH2 (co-ord 41°12'10.12"S 174°54'23.87"E) and Fairway Drive/Major Drive/SH2 (co-ord 41°11'24.51"S 174°55'46.39"E) intersection pairs. It's normal to see people stop at the first set of lights while on green until the queue at the next set of lights is clear. Same for the many roundabouts in the area, stopping and waiting until the exit is clear to let others get through.
It really isn't hard to do. Light is amber,I'm to close to stop, I don't stop. Light is amber, I have time to stop, I stop. If the person behind you is too stupid to also stop in time then you need to work on your license issuing practices.
And yes,I ride a motorbike so being rear-ended is quite a dangerous proposition for me. What would cause minor damage to 2 cars causes major damage to me. Thankfully the standard of driving in NZ (at least outside Auckland - will get to you in a moment KiwiMuso :) ) isn't too bad, and I can legally lane-split if needed/desired (within limits).