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First man cited for not obeying new traffic signal
New Traffic Lights Arrive Ahead of Schedule
City Council in Uproar Due to Cost Overruns
Yourtown---- (NOTICE: Any names of towns, locations, people, institutions, etc., used in these sample fake newspaper stories, are purely fictional, chosen at random, and are not meant to portray or represent any real person, place or deed. Remember that no matter what name a writer chooses to use in any fictional story, there is a real person (or many persons) SOMEWHERE who have that exact name.)
Seattle is the first city to receive and implement the newest state-of-the-art traffic signals. Eleven more are scheduled to be in place by the end of summer.
The decision to purchase the units, costing roughly $213,000 each, has met with some criticism. "But overall," says City Councilman Bob Brown, "it's a positive step."
The lights, manufactured by a Polish firm, are touted as being the best of the best.
"These lights will save lives in intersections," argues Phil Blander, a member of the team hired by the City of Seattle to study the plausibility of the new controls. "Each lane of traffic will see three separate banks of lights. Each light in each bank is synchronized to show the same colors at the appropriate times, except for the turn-lanes, which will see two yellows always, then the pertinent red or green depending on conditions. It's a masterpiece of technology, really."
But opponents cite numerous fatalities in test cities overseas, in which motorists were so confused by the ungainly array of changing lights, that they made inappropriate decisions and caused accidents. There have also been cases in which the lights malfunctioned, and displayed the wrong colors at the wrong times, causing more wrecks.
"We deeply regret those instances," says City Councilman Earl Jones. "But when you want progress, when you want to make an omelet, you're going to have to break some eggs. This (new system) will be worth it in the long run."
Drivers are already furious about the new contraptions. Casey Jones was the first to be ticketed for not obeying the light on 5th Ave.
"I had no idea what to do!" fumed Jones. "I couldn't tell which light was mine. I couldn't tell if I was supposed to stop or go! And then they give me a $77 citation for running a red light! I don't think that cop could tell which light I was supposed to obey either! This is ridiculous!"
Seattle authorities remain stalwart in their decision to implement the new signals.
"We know what we're doing," commented one city council-woman. "The public just has to trust us."
See 'City De-Criminalizes "Jay" Walking' Page D-5
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