Florida changing yellow light times for traffic signals

2:59 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida has started resetting the length of yellow lights at intersections across the state, hoping it will help make roads safer.

A new report for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials encourages states to increase yellow lights four-tenths of a second.

Currently, the standard time is one second. Now it goes to 1.4 seconds.

That doesn't sound like much time but traffic engineers say it can make a big difference in a person's reaction, especially among older drivers.

Mark Wilson of the Florida Department of Transportation says a longer yellow should help reduce rear-end crashes because a lot of drivers slam on their brakes when they see a yellow light.

"The hope is that it will reduce crashes, that it would have a better, more accurate yellow so people won't have to do a hard braking or they could continue through and still make it during the yellow phase."

Florida plans to reset all red-light camera traffic lights by the end of the year. Wilson says all other traffic signals must be recalibrated by June 30, 2015.

"That's to give the cities and counties time to do that without having a fiscal impact. I've already heard from a number of counties that they're going to follow suit with those timing changes. So we look for it to happen on all roads in Florida."

Dave Heller

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