Florida Secretly Shortened Yellow Light Times To Bust More Drivers With Red-Light Cameras

Categories: WTF Florida

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Remember when you got popped with that red light camera ticket last month and then ranted to anyone who'd listen about how it was all a giant conspiracy? "The yellow is too short!" you shrieked, waving your ticket in the air as everyone laughed. "They did it on purpose!"

Well, you don't look so crazy this morning. A Tampa TV station has found that FDOT subtly reworded state law two years ago to give cities wiggle room to shorten their yellow lights -- all so they could catch more drivers in red light camera traps.

See also:
- Non-Lawyer Bob Sherin Fights Red-Light Camera Tickets

The investigation by WTSP began after they found a dangerously short yellow light near Tampa at an intersection that also happened to house a red light camera.

When they started digging into the state rules behind the cameras -- which generate more than $100 million for Florida cities -- they found something curious.

Until 2011, state law mandated that the length of yellow lights be based on a formula that considers either the road's speed limit or a percentage of the average car speed -- whichever is greater.

But that year, FDOT quietly removed the last part -- whichever is greater. The result was that cities could base their yellow times on arbitrary speed limits, which often have little to do with how fast cars are actually driving in an area.

FDOT says the move was meant to "clean up" its regulatory language, but the change goes directly against federal safety suggestions, which note that basing yellow times on speed limits results "in more red light violations and higher crash rates."

It's that first part of the warning that probably interests local cities. Sure, skimping on yellow light times might results in a few more cars slamming into each other every year -- but think of the extra red-light camera revenue!

"I think it's immoral to do that," James Walker, director of the National Motorists Association tells WTSP. "You're basically punishing safe drivers with deliberately improper engineering. That's not moral to me."

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32 comments
tko117
tko117

fight back get yourselves a red light camera detector on e bay or brand's mart usa

tko117
tko117

fight back get yourselves a red light camera detector on e bay or brand's mart usa

Nandoboom
Nandoboom

Too many people of low morals are walking on planet earth. We are seeing too many corrupt government officials and politicians. People need to focus on the good things. http://t.co/XCiKDZ8tJQ

Brabado
Brabado

Corruption is well and growing amongst Tallahasee politicans who foudn a new way to "shaken the wallets" of Florida residents.

This is an outrage, inmoral, deshonest and Gov. Scott better do something to strike down, this shakedown, or he can kiss his next Term goodbye.

First, the infamous Camera Traffic Lights was a rippoff, to benefit corrupt politicians, and the company that makes them... now, they want to pad their wallets with more of our money by the shortening of Yellow lighst scheme... Next, they will shorten the Green light as well.  It will never end!

Gov. Scott, you better get infolved ASAP or your political career is gone.

Await prompt results.

Brabado
Brabado

Uncontrolled corruption amonst some politicians in Tallahasee is doing very well, and growing out of control with the blessing of Gov. Rick Scott.

Now, they came up with a new shakedown of motorists in Florida. i.e. shorten the time of the Yellow Light and the interceptions... Next, the Green Light will also follow.

My Community, and South Florida residents are totally outraged at this inmoral, dishonest, and rape attempt by the Florida Legislature.

Gov. Scott better get involved, ASAP, and strike this gross and abusive new law, and call the FDOT to explain why are they abusing Florida citizens to pad the pokets of Corrupt Politicians, and the Company that makes the Camera Lights.

Await prompt results!

TheeBlog
TheeBlog

They even turn off assigned turn lights at specific times during the day. (Rush hour) Turn lights work fine until 4PM. Once rush hour begins, they disappear, forcing drivers to take the light (and get a ticket). Check it out at the corner of US1 and 22Ave.

Bocajo
Bocajo

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT for everybody that ever received one of these tickets.  My god sheeple,....stop accepting your federal, state and local governments from ripping you off and get MAD !   Stop accepting this crap !    No one ever gets mad or acts to fix something until they are personally effected, and even then most just complain to a friend and then drop it !  GET MAD ! 

Ru Ru H
Ru Ru H

South Florida is not a community, its a place where greed thrives.

Eduardo Ford
Eduardo Ford

Is there a way to get the money spent on this yellow light shortening scheme?

Henry Style
Henry Style

"Florida knows what's more important." I giggled.

Lisa B.
Lisa B.

"Sure, skimping on yellow light times might results in a few more cars slamming into each other every year -- but think of the extra red-light camera revenue!"

Willie's Bicycles
Willie's Bicycles

Cameras don't replace police to SEE, and stop speeding, reckless and drunk drivers before they hit-kill-and-run.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Which law office is handling the class action suit? I've racked up a few, including some bogus ones. Over $1000 in legal fees while trying to fight off forclosure, this has hurt us 10x more than it's helped.

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