Cities Increase Revenues by Shortening Yellow Lights, but Risk More Accidents

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When local governments need more cash, cities and counties look for new ways to raise revenue. Some municipalities have turned to shortening yellow lights at intersections in order to catch more people running red lights, and thus generate more traffic citations. El Paso reduced the time of its yellow lights by just four-tenths of a second, but this caused tickets to jump by 132%. Money produced from red-light-running citations can really add up—the small town of Coppell, Texas, (population: 39,000) made $862,275 in one year off just one intersection.

But shortening yellow lights has its risks. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that a one-second increase in yellow-light time resulted in a 40% reduction in auto crashes, and a 53% drop in violations.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


Perfect Henry 11 years ago
I am in Kalefornya and on Friday Schwarzenegger announced he wants our red light cameras to be issuing speeding tickets too. (Right now we do not have any speed cams in this state.) He estimated 2.4 million tickets yearly. That will expand the volume of camera tickets five-fold! For Californians to cope, they must learn about "Snitch Tickets," fake/phishing red light tickets mailed out by some CA PD's to fool the registered owner into ID'ing the actual driver of the car. (He doesn't have to!) Snitch Tickets haven't been filed with the court so don't say "Notice to Appear," don't have the court's address, and say (on the back, in small letters), "Do not contact the court." Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. In doubt, Google the term. " To those who never break the law: I've wanted to buy a system that warns you about cameras & speed traps, but couldn't justify the expense, and it wasn't PC either. But now I can justify it, and so can other law-abiding drivers. The system will warn me I'm coming to a location where drivers in front of me will be unexpectedly slamming on their brakes on a brand new yellow or because they have local knowledge that there's a speed camera hidden nearby. The warning will save me from rear-ending them - an accident for which I'm automatically responsible. (Who needs an accident on their record?) Once you have your nav system, you will also need to spend time monthly updating it and those of your less-technical friends. No one gets out of this for free - not even "perfect" drivers like me.

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