A story on FiveThirtyEight suggests that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's bid for a second term could be derailed by the controversial red-light camera program there, with particularly short yellow-light times showering drivers with $100 citations.
Red light cameras don't appear to be going away, so it should come as no surprise that neither are the controversies around them. We're told again and again that they're about safety, not revenue collection, yet year after year, the studies and headlines compete to support and tear down those arguments. An investigative report by Florida's WTSP Channel 10 News gets the maelstrom whirling again, having found that various state municipalities have shorted yellow light times to below those recommen
First installed in London by a railway engineer in 1868, traffic lights are used in just about every city on the planet today. In the most basic sense, drivers have learned that red means stop, green light means go and that yellow indicates that caution is due as the signal is in the process of change. Even an elementary school child understands that traffic flows through a green and yellow light, but running a red light is not only dangerous, but it is against the law.
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.