Yellow lights a second longer?

Yellow lights a second longer?

Posted by Mike Riopell on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 20:14

State Sen. Dan Duffy's longtime crusade against red light cameras took a baby step forward this evening when a Senate committee advanced his plan to extend the duration of a yellow light by one second at any intersection with a red-light camera.

What's an extra second get you?

Duffy said studies from other states show that a longer yellow light means fewer accidents at an intersection.

And it might mean fewer tickets for drivers, giving them a little extra time to get through an intersection.

Even though the Senate committee voted to send it to the full Senate, Duffy's plan has to change before it moves forward. Because of various concerns from lawmakers on the panel, they asked the Lake Barrington Republican to agree not to proceed further until he hears out their ideas and considers changes.

The main opponent is the Illinois Department of Transportation, which argues the length of a yellow light is set by national standards based on how fast traffic approaches the intersection. Making a yellow light last a second longer would mess with that, and doing it only to intersections with cameras would mess with the standard, too, they argue.

What happens to Duffy's proposal this year remains to be seen. Last year, he attempted to get the state to ease up on ticketing drivers who roll through a red light while turning right.

That proposal didn't advance. It should be noted that Senate President John Cullerton, who can have quite a bit of say on what legislation is allowed to move through the process, hasn't been a big fan of Duffy's red light camera plans in the past.

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