Some driving delays on Highway 280 could be your fault, not - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Some driving delays on Highway 280 could be your fault, not ALDOTs

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

ALDOT Engineer, Brian Davis, wants drivers on Highway 280 to get "in the zone."

Last Fall, ALDOT spent about $20 million on a 10 mile stretch, upgrading lanes and installing cameras...not for recording, but for traffic lights.

"In many instances, the drivers aren't pulling up to the stop bars properly," Davis said. "[Drivers aren't] getting detected by the cameras."

The new system has a 30-foot zone, meaning when you stop in those zones, the cameras detect you and then the light changes.

It's something many drivers aren't familiar with.

"There are times that a vehicle can pull too far up and be out of the zone and not get detected," Davis said. "There are times the vehicle can be too far back and not be detected."

The next thing drivers need to remember is that the 30-foot zone turns into a 15-foot zone when the light is green. Also, the green lights are not timed, so if you're not ready, you'll miss it.

Davis urges drivers to pay attention, saying it's easy to miss a light if a driver is distracted.

"The fourth car back there is texting or on the phone and not paying attention...they look up and the cars in front of them are gone," he said. "They start to accelerate and try to catch up and all the sudden the light changes. That's because we have this thing called a 'gap time'."

If a camera doesn't detect you in three-to-four seconds the light will turn back to red.

"I've actually been here, making observations, and seen a gentleman who knew what was going on get out of his car and walk up and tell the lady 'Hey, if you don't pull up, you're not gonna get a light'," Highway 280 Traffic Engineer, Brett Sellers, said.

So remember: Help ALDOT and help the driving headaches...by helping yourselves.

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