BRADENTON, Florida - Melissa Wandall is the state's biggest supporter of red light cameras (RLC). And she didn't love hearing about 10 News' investigation into short yellow traffic lights at RLC intersections.
10 News has been following Melissa Wandall's fight for nine years, since her husband, Mark, was killed by a red light runner just a mile from his house. Two weeks later, Melissa gave birth to their only daughter, Madison. And in 2010, Florida passed the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act to regulate red light cameras statewide.
But Melissa has always fought for safer intersections and says she was disturbed by the discovery that yellow lights may have been shortened to create more revenue.
WATCH: Initial Short Yellows Investigation
TIMELINE: 10 News' Short Yellows Investigation
"If we are going to have a camera program," Wandall says, "then everybody has to come together and (agree) on guidelines (that) will make it safer."
10 News identified a series of federal safety guidelines ignored at almost all local RLC intersections. The shorter-than-recommended lights may not give older drivers or truck drivers enough time to stop safely.
But Wandall said she took issue with 10 News' characterization of drivers who receive tickets as "victims."
"The real victims are the people on the other side of that red light," she says. "We don't need longer lights to tell us what to do out there. (Drivers) are trying to find any way they can to make excuses."
She is also concerned RLC critics will use the 10 News investigation in their fight to repeal the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act.
"Lives have been saved. And lives will continue to be saved," she says.
Wandall currently travels the country to advocate for red light safety cameras as well as resources for grieving kids. She also remains active with The Mark Wandall Foundation and MultiTaskinMamma.com.
The Florida Department of Transportation tells 10 News it is now looking to increase the state's minimum yellow times by at least 0.3 seconds, which would bring most lights closer to federal standards.
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