Too Tall to See the Traffic Light 16

If I wasn’t so tall, I wouldn’t have gotten this traffic ticket.

It was a rather official looking brown envelope. Tearing it open in expectation of some bill or other, I was surprised to find a picture of me driving in my car… entering a red lit intersection. Reading the text of the letter revealed that in exactly 0.3 seconds after that light turned red, my car entered the intersection, and thus I must pay the city $325. Just like evidence in the famed instant replays of modern sports, the situation was indisputable.


So, my fault you’re thinking, serves me right. Well, here is the scary truth: Like many other red lights, I never saw it! My vision line was cut off by the roof of my car! I’m just grateful this issue has never caused me to get in an accident.

Tall People Can't see Red Lights

By Derek Jensen (Tysto) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My first instinct was to describe my predicament to the judge and ask for mercy. Then I came to my senses; a sane judge would be more likely to suspend my license than to give me a break. Instead, I searched for solutions to the problem. The best I found was the Fresnel lens in the image link below. Also, the best cars for tall people have a high Vision Line Height is also a big help. Check out some other solutions here: traffic light solutions for tall people.

Fresnel Lens to See Traffic Lights

Has your height ever gotten you in trouble, traffic ticket or otherwise?

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16 thoughts on “Too Tall to See the Traffic Light

  • Margie Halloran

    I did buy a light in sight lens to help with this problem– although it doesn’t work very well during the daytime.

  • Brian Barnes

    Normally seeing if the light is red isn’t an issue because I drive a Ford Excursion. Rental cars can be a problem.

  • Godfrey Fane

    Yep, on occasion I’ve been at a junction I don’t know and “followed 3-4 cars thru green only to realise that it had changed to red…because I couldn’t see it officer…” 🙁

  • Godfrey Fane

    Yep, on occasion I’ve been at a junction I don’t know and “followed 3-4 cars thru green only to realise that it had changed to red…because I couldn’t see it officer…” 🙁

  • william patrick mcintosh

    That seems like a good idea….however being a tad bit taller, this device would be placed right in my field of vision. This is not an option for me. After I wax my hood, I can usually see the stop light’s reflection. It doesn’t work for all stop lights though. I am thinking a mirror on my dash would work. I would much prefer having lights mounted lower than hanging in the middle of the intersection.

    • Tall Life Post author

      I know what you mean; even at my height it does take up a bit of my field of view. But at least it is fairly small compared to the rear view mirror. I used to use the hood of my car too (of course double checking the actual light before figuring it has turned green). As far as the mirror, I tried this and found it potentially blinding on bright sunny days. I’ve also tried a backup cam but found it hard to see the light in the image. Perhaps if it had been a better quality back up cam. Here is another traffic light Fresnel lens viewer, I believe it is even smaller.

  • Sasquatch

    No, my height has never gotten me in trouble. I learned a neat trick 30 years ago when I first started driving:

    Lower your head and look. ?