Slow-Thinking Drivers To Get More Time With Longer Yellow Lights

A careful driver approaches an intersection and the green light turns yellow. Red is next. What does the driver do? Hit the brakes, or floor it and hope for the best? It’s a split-second call. Soon, Florida drivers will have more time to make that decision as the sunshine state lengthens the time before yellow turns red.

Research indicates that we make up our minds in about a second and that lengthening yellow light time will prevent more drivers from running red lights. Called the perception/reaction time, the state hopes to make that an easier decision with more yellow light time.

But let’s think about this. You are driving along, approaching an intersection and the light turns yellow. If you know the light will remain yellow longer, will you stop?

You probably should, at least in Florida. While aimed to address the concerns of red light fine critics, each citation brings a fine of $158 and adds up to big money for local cities who split the fine with the state.”We don’t play around with the times,” said Jay Davoll, city engineer for Apopka, Florida, in an Orlando Sentinel report. “But people say we do.” A suburb of Orlando, the city of Apopka alone has collected about $2 million in red-light fines so far this year.