Are cities taking away yellow light time after getting red light cameras?

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Hampton Roads is now home to several red light cameras.

Each second counts in determining whether you get through a yellow light smoothly or get slapped with a $50 fine.

But now, a NewsChannel 3 investigation is uncovering cities taking away precious yellow light time after getting their cameras installed.

Investigator Laurie Simmons has the story Thursday at 5.


  • ck

    I’m still not entirely sure what the problem is with stopping for a red light. Red means stop. It’s safety and traffic control.

    In Germany they have cameras that snap you if you break the speed limit. If you ask me we need that in addition to the red light cams.

    • Socialismis4Sissies

      Ummm, I’m pretty sure it’s the Yellow light’s duration we’re talking here. Seeing a Red Light indicates a stop is in order. If the light is yellow and you’re moving into the intersection, reason says you have time to get through the intersection prior to the light turning red.

      • ck

        Yeah, no kidding. Which is my point…people who don’t stop for reds are the reason the cameras are needed in the first place.

        Yellow means caution, i.e.-slow down. We’re unnecessarily examining a minuscule amount of time here. If you get a red-light cam ticket for blowing a red and you entered the intersection on a yellow, you were not obeying the yellow’s warning to slow down. Plain and simple. You’re endangering others’ safety and you deserve more than a $50 hit in my opinion.

        • hoyt

          And the city is endagering lives by shortening the yellow light (teh point of this story) because these lighst are not about “safety” but about “revenue”.

        • steve

          We seem to have an issue of idealism vs safety. Not everything is black or white. Whether one stops or proceeds on yellow depends on what they can do SAFELY. Sure stopping for yellow is ideal but we don’t want folks slamming on brakes at 45 mph and skidding or careening into intersections (hence a ticket for blocking an intersection if they can’t stop in time).

          If one is too close to the intersection to stop in time safely, the yellow light needs to be long enough to allow them through the intersection.

  • CNN Junkie

    People run lights around here like they aren’t even red. I have almost been hit several times when my light is green and people are still driving through the intersection on red. People push the limits on yellow and I’m glad these cameras are in place. If you are already in the intersection when the light turns red then that is not supposed to be an offense. If you push the limit because you are too important to wait for the next light, then oh well. I applaud these cameras and wish there were more out there.

    • steve

      I agree but after this story, I can’t help but wonder if you almost getting hit while having a green light wasn’t caused by the yellow being too short. I’m really concerned about the possibility iof accidents due to this revenue-generating scheme.

  • time is time

    When I was in drivers education and a private driving course. It was instructed that if you are in the solid white when the light turns yellow at speed you will clear the light. But, many lights in this area both camera and non-camera that is not the case the yellow is shorter and turning red while still in the intersection. I am thrilled someone is looking into this I have no problem stopping for a light but not when I am unsure of whether I will make it or not.

  • Jen

    There should be a ‘set’ yellow light time in the form of legislation Virginia state, to protect motorists if police/counties are making the decision of taking away some yellow light time. It has to be consistent or it is not fair or just.

  • hoyt

    If this were all about “safety” the speed limit on all city roads would be reduced to 35 MPH and all stoplights would be set to a brief four-way red. Those things are much more effective and cost less to the city than red-light cameras. The cameras are mostly about revenue; safety is only the thinly disguised justification of disingenuous public officials.

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