Are short yellow lights putting you at risk for a car accident?

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As drivers, we’ve all been there before.  You approach an intersection while the light is green, and suddenly the light turns yellow.  Do you have enough time to stop safely, or should you proceed through the intersection?  The choice you make could result in a rear-end accident, intersection crash, or no consequence at all.


With the advent of red light cameras, some cities have found it advantageous to reduce the amount of time that lights in their intersections stay yellow.   What this means is that more motorists are likely to receive red light tickets, as they don’t have as much time as usual to make it through the light safely.  Not only is this a shady way to increase the dollars in city coffers, but it is a terrible risk to driving safety.


Short yellow lights can result in more auto accidents, plain and simple.  Is the risk of serious injury and property damage really worth it?  Research shows that increasing the length of a yellow light at a troublesome intersection by just one second can reduce accidents by 50%.  Isn’t that the kind of change that benefits everyone?


The National Motorists Association (NMA) Foundation does not think so, and has started a campaign to stop short yellow lights.  If you suspect that a yellow light at an intersection in your neighborhood is dangerously short, then you can visit their “STOP Short Yellow Lights" website and take action.

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