Does Reduction Of Yellow Traffic Light Time in Florida Imperil Safety?

Posted on May 15, 2013

The Florida Department of Transportation has quietly changed a state policy to allow for the reconfiguration of the length of time yellow traffic lights can emit throughout the state, a move that has the potential to have a dramatic impact on public safety and state revenue.  An investigation by a Tampa Bay news station revealed that time on yellow lights has been reduced by fractions of a second going all the way back to 2011.  This has led to a marked increase in the number of violations recorded by Red Light Cameras.  The shorter times, while subscribing to what’s permitted by the Florida DOT, nevertheless run afoul of suggestions put forth at the national level.  Many have taken issue with Red Light Cameras in general on civil liberty grounds, but this latest shortening runs counter to United States DOT and Federal Highway Administration data which suggests shorter yellow lights increase the possibility of a crash.

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