» Florida Changes Rules to Allow Shorter Yellow Lights, Reaps Red Light Camera Revenue

Florida Changes Rules to Allow Shorter Yellow Lights, Reaps Red Light Camera Revenue

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 19, 2013 – A change to Florida’s rules for traffic signals allowed cities and counties to shorten yellow lights, reaping millions of dollars in fines.

In a recent report, Noah Pransky of Tampa television station WTSP covered the 2011 rule change by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which reduced allowable minimum intervals for yellow lights below the federal government’s recommended minimums. State and local traffic engineers then worked together to shorten yellow lights at intersections with red light cameras, the report said.

“Transportation authorities need to find ways to reduce accidents and enforce traffic laws,” said Tampa auto accident lawyer Robert Joyce. “But I’m not sure shortening yellow lights is a great way to go about that. The yellow light is a buffer between intersecting traffic, so this rule change could actually be counterproductive in terms of its effect on safety.”

FDOT had a long-standing rule for calculating minimum yellow light intervals as a function of either the posted speed limit or the 85th percentile of the actual speed of traffic, whichever is greater. But in 2011, the three words “whichever is greater” were struck from the rule, allowing local governments to re-time their signals. Pransky’s report alleges that a number of communities shortened their yellow lights, and these changes “typically took place at [red light camera enforced] intersections.”

In an interview with WTSP, an FDOT representative pointed out that it receives no direct revenue from red light cameras and therefore had no financial incentive to implement the rule change. But just over half of citation revenue from red light camera intersections goes to various state funds, including the general revenue fund. Red light cameras generated over $100 million in revenue in 2012 for some 70 Florida communities.

Two reports from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) said that cities should not use the posted speed limit in calculating yellow light intervals and instead use the 85th percentile speed. This reduces red light violations and severe crashes. The US Department of Transportation recommends adding an extra half-second to yellow lights at intersections with a lot of elderly drivers. But despite the greater Tampa Bay area containing five of the nation’s 12 oldest counties, it also has some unusually short yellow lights.

“If a traffic signal is programmed improperly and that contributes to an auto accident, that could be the basis for a lawsuit against the governmental body responsible for the signal,” added Joyce.

To learn more or to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney at the Joyce & Reyes Law Firm, P.A. visit http://www.joyceandreyespa.com/ or call 1.888.771.1529.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


View Larger Map

  • In fee petition hearing, court acknowledges high value of attorney Robert Joyce’s skill
    In a recent fee petition hearing, a judge of the Hillsborough County Circuit Court acknowledged the high value of attorney Robert Joyce’s skill, stating that there are “only a few lawyers in town that I think are worth $600 an hour,” and that Mr. Joyce is one of them, due to his “astonishing” workmanship. The […]
  • Florida wrongful death lawsuit filed over prescription drug death
    A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in federal court by a Florida woman whose husband died of a brain hemorrhage after taking a prescribed anticoagulant drug. William Packard was prescribed Xarelto in January 2012 to treat a nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. In June 2012, Packard suffered a subdural hemorrhage, or hematoma. Excess blood collected between […]
  • Owners and manager of Tampa pill mill receive 30-year prison sentence
    The owners of what police say was the largest pill mill in Tampa were sentenced to 30 years in prison on September 19, after what was reported to be the longest trial in Hillsborough County’s history. Michele Gonzalez and Jorge Gonzalez-Betancourt were convicted of racketeering and drug trafficking charges in March. The married couple were […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required