Traffic lights are those odd things that enforce bits of waiting on people who are in busy urban places. The whole purpose is around ordering traffic. But underneath it, is something else. Fairness. A traffic light allows most to get a fair chance to get through whether through junctions or crossings. It doesn’t need lightning reflexes and an Usain Bolt range of speed to navigate through what is quite a complex movement of people on foot and on vehicles.
Traffic lights make things slightly fairer. The pedestrian can cross without getting run over and truck is given enough space to turn. This sort of waiting gives space to others so that everyone benefits. Now if we can agree on a system of stops and gos should we allow such a system into other parts of our lives. Should people with larger wallets bulldoze their way through life? Should poor always be cowering on the pavement unable to cross?
The kinder drivers around South London don’t need a traffic light. They actually look out and if you’re walking with children they often will stop for you. Now that small act of waiting becomes an act of justice. Who would have though it?