For commuters trying to leave Oakland by the Bay Bridge last week, the commute took much longer. For commuters sitting in the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Bay Bridge, the traffic jam might have appeared to be caused by road construction or a terrible traffic accident. However, the backup was caused by a problem with the metering lights for Bay Bridge.
Software Glitch Causes Severe Backup
According to a story by ABC7, the metering lights at the toll plaza malfunctioned causing the severe traffic jam. Cars were backed up as far as the Children’s Hospital Oakland. A Caltrans spokesperson blamed the problem on the software that operates the controller that regulates the metered lights. Apparently, the software and the system were installed more than 40 years ago. Caltrans was not able to remotely control the lights. Therefore, until the matter could be resolved, Caltrans engineers had to operate the metering lights at the toll plaza manually.
A new smart system controls the lights at some I-80 on-ramps. There are plans to replace the current Bay Bridge metering lights with the new system like the ones used on I-80. The new system uses data collected from cameras and road sensors to monitor traffic flow, so it can adjust the lights to match the flow of traffic.
Tips for Driving in Heavy Traffic
The traffic jam like the one last week can increase the risk of traffic accidents. Drivers must pay close attention to the flow of traffic to avoid accidents, especially rear-end crashes. When you are driving in heavy traffic, some of the things you can do to decrease your risk of being in a traffic accident include:
- Avoid all distractions! It can be tempting to check your email, send a text, or read the news. However, taking your eyes away from the road for a second can result in an accident. In heavy traffic or a traffic jam, traffic can stop, or a car can “cut in” without any warning. You must be paying close attention so that you can stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Do not tailgate. Following too closely can increase your risk of a rear-end crash. Try to remember that tailgating the vehicle in front of you will not make the traffic move faster. The vehicle in front of you can only move as fast as the vehicle in front of it.
- Do not weave in and out of traffic. It can also be tempting to change lanes because other lanes appear to be moving faster. However, once you are in the other lane, your lane begins to move. Try to fight the urge to wear in and out of traffic.
If you are in an accident, call the police immediately. After you seek medical attention, contact our office for a free consultation with an Oakland car accident attorney.
Oakland Car Accident Attorneys
Contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website. Our Oakland car accident attorneys offer free case reviews for car accident victims. We want to help you recover the money you deserve for injuries caused by a negligent driver.
Source: “Malfunctioning metering lights at Bay Bridge blamed for traffic delays.” Jonathan Bloom. ABC7. January 23, 2018.