Earlier in the year I came very close to having an accident when the car in front of me had his break lights reversed. This meant that breaking turned off his tail lights – thus making red lights meaning go, no lights meaning stop. This afternoon on the way home, in a very very similar stretch of road I nearly came unstuck as the minivan in front of me had no break lights whatsoever.
I was heading west on Smith Street, approaching the intersection and traffic lights of Kumbari Avenue and was increasing speed heading down the hill. The lights had been green for a little while so the dozen or so cars in front of me were all accelerating, due to the decline, green light pressure and the faster speed zone on the other side of the lights. With less than 50 metres before we cleared the intersection, the car in front of me decided to break suddenly as soon as the light went amber – when the car to his left and four more went through on the orange.
Had at least one of the minivan’s break lights been working, I would have slowed down with plenty of time to spare. However, it took another fraction of a second before I closed enough distance to realise he was breaking and aggressively.
Fortunately, I allow a little more breaking distance when driving my Ford Telstar; which has a striking similarity to a small tank and even smaller breaks!