Why are Florida stop lights sideways?
Florida stoplights are unique in that they are mounted sideways as opposed to vertically. This design was introduced in the 1990s, when the state adopted the Uniform Traffic Control Devices (UTCD) standards, with the purpose of improving visibility, safety and uniformity.
Specifically, the main reasons why Florida stop lights are designed this way are as follow:
1. Visibility: The sideways orientation of the lights provide a much wider field of vision for drivers. Vertical stoplights could be neglected by drivers if the view is obstructed. The low, wide position of the Florida stop lights allow drivers to easily spot them and recognize the traffic signals, making drivers more likely to observe the traffic laws.
2. Safety: The sideways stop lights can improve safety as they are more visible and reduce the likelihood that drivers will miss the signals. Additionally, the upward-facing orientation of the red stoplights allows drivers to see them through the rear view mirror.
3. Uniformity: Utilizing a uniform design throughout the state allows drivers to recognize traffic signals quickly, regardless of the area they are driving in. This uniformity also makes it easier for tourists who are not necessarily familiar with Florida’s roads and traffic patterns.
Overall, Florida stoplights are designed in a sideways orientation to improve visibility, safety and uniformity, thereby supporting the state’s goal of prioritizing safety and convenience on its roads.