Everybody knows that the economy in Virginia and across the country is in dire straits right now.  It is not only individuals who are suffering, but businesses and state and local governments are looking for ways to save money as well.  While some amount of creative cost-cutting is to be expected in these economic times, some moves aren’t just foolish – they could be downright dangerous.

One disturbing change that has been noticed in several cities across the country is short-timing yellow lights to generate more red light traffic camera revenue.  One can only imagine the decision-making process that leads the officials in these cities to opt for a change that could endanger the lives of local motorists just to bring in a little extra money.  Increasing the risk of an auto accident at an intersection is not sound fiscal policy!

Why short-timing yellow lights are dangerous

We all know that yellow lights are displayed as a warning that the light is about to turn red.  Contrary to the popular quote from the 1984 movie “Starman”, the yellow light is not intended as an invitation for drivers to speed up and get through the intersection – although this is how many drivers treat yellow lights.    Most yellow lights should be about 4 seconds long, but laws will vary by state and by road speed.

Yellow lights give drivers time to decide if they are close enough to the intersection to get through safely before the light changes to red (which is preferable to slamming on the brakes if the car is too close to the intersection to stop safely).  Alternately, the yellow light gives motorists time to slow down and stop at the intersection.  In fact, many cities have found lengthening the duration of the yellow light reduces the number of accidents and red light runners.

6 cities caught short-timing yellow lights

If you’ve received a ticket in the mail in Virginia for running a red light, you might be wondering if you’re the victim of a short-timed yellow light.  It is likely that the six cities listed here aren’t alone in their actions – it might be worth your while to investigate the lights in your town to see if your local officials are trying to pad their coffers by risking more car accidents.

Cities caught with short yellow lights:

1)     Chattanooga, Tennessee

2)     Dallas, Texas

3)     Springfield, Missouri

4)     Lubbock, Texas

5)     Nashville, Tennessee (no red light cameras, but short yellow lights allowed police officers to stop drivers who ran the light)

6)     Union City, California

If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, then please contact the Northern Virginia law offices of Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas today.  We will work with you to secure the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Carl N. Lauer
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Representing injured persons in Virginia. Workers' Compensation Claims.

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