It seems most studies of amber lights focus on whether cities are using them to gather revenue. The theory – and let's face it, sometimes the fact – is that the light time is so short that drivers end up tripping the red light camera and getting a fine. Conversely, a new study by the University of Cincinnati and Ohio Department of Transportation has taken a look at how drivers behave when they encounter a yellow light no matter how long it's illuminated.
More than 1,500 drivers were caught on camera in suburban Ohio as they approached high-speed intersections and entered the "dilemma zone." Without offering any hypotheses for the discoveries, a few of the most interesting finds were:
- Drivers in the left lane – the high speed lane – tended to stop for yellow lights, drivers in the right, slow lane, did not tend to stop.
- Longer yellow lights tended to have more drivers running them.
- If the street had a higher posted limit, there was a larger tendency for drivers to go through yellows – more drivers in 55 mph streets ran yellows than those on 50 mph streets.
- 18-wheelers ran yellow lights more than pickups, SUVs, light trucks and sedans. According to some police records, however, truckers weren't more likely to run or be cited for running red lights.
[Source: Kansas.com | Image: Corbis]