A couple months ago I wrote about the four phase traffic signals I saw in Sweden and Denmark. These are better than the three phase lights we use in the United States. The improved lights help smooth the flow of traffic, improve safety, and save gas. Today I saw a post about a fancier version. Instead of adding a fourth phase, Damjan Stanković proposes a circular progress indicator around the red light:

Traffic signal with progress indicator

This is certainly nicer than the standard three phase light, but I’m not convinced that it is practically better than a four phase light. I prefer the simplicity and reliability of a four phase signal to the extra complication and unneeded detail of the Stanković signal. Still, it is good to see someone else promoting the idea of better traffic signals. I’m not sure how many American drivers are alert and courteous enough to take advantage of better signals, but there are probably enough that we could still see some improvement in traffic flow, saving gas.

Four phase traffic lights

Source: A Better Understanding of Stoplights through A Stoplight for the Progress Bar Generation