The Maui Police Department, which previously brought you the law enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” has come up with yet another operation with a cutesy name. From Oct. 6-19, the MPD will conduct a “Stop or Get Stopped”** campaign that, according to an Oct. 1 department news release, is “focused on motorists who disregard stop signs and red traffic signal lights” and on “motorist[s] that block intersections or are caught stopped in the intersection after the traffic signal light turns red.”
The news release doesn’t say which intersections will see increased MPD surveillance, though it does say that the “Maui Police Department’s Traffic Section will be selecting locations for targeted enforcement based on data gathered from crashes, citations, as well as numerous citizens’ concerns regarding these violations.” The release also contains information on how to drive through intersections safely, like the following sentence:
“An illuminated yellow traffic signal light means vehicular traffic facing the steady yellow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.”
I had to read that twice before I realized it’s just a description of what happens when a traffic signal turns yellow. And there I was going to leave it, until I realized that it actually begs a fairly profound question: does the light turn yellow because the green period is ending or because the red period is beginning?
Well, which is it? Who among us can say?
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go downstairs and stare at the intersection for the rest of the day.
* The original headline implied that the MPD came up with the cutesy name, but I’ve since found at least one other municipal police department that ran an identically named operation.
** Also, I somehow got the cutesy name wrong in an earlier version.