No more timers for metro traffic lights

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has begun replacing the timers on traffic lights, which were a common sight in Metro Manila, with a new technology called Adaptive Responsive Traffic Signal System (ARTSS).

Instead of using countdown timers, the new system uses sensors to determine when will the lights go green, yellow, or red.

MMDA’s Traffic Signal Operations and Maintenance Group chief, Francisco Pesino Jr., explained that if the ARTSS detects no passing vehicles within three to five seconds, the system will change the lights.

The MMDA added that about 50% to 60% of all the traffic lights in Metro Manila are already included in the system.

Not NCAP friendly

Unfortunately, with this new system, a lot of drivers either stepped on a yellow box or completely ran a traffic light due to the absence of a countdown timer. This has caused drivers to be fined hefty penalties, especially now that a couple of cities here in the metro have already implemented a No-Contact Apprehension Program or NCAP.

New system vs old system

One might ask, “why can’t we just keep the countdown timers as we phase the new system?” The MMDA simply said that the old countdown timers interfere with the new system.

As a driver or motorcycle rider, it really pays to always have a defensive driver mindset at all times, and whenever you’re approaching an intersection, slow down. You’ll never know when will the traffic light go yellow, then red – just like in the old times.