Southern Brooklyn

Report: Camera-Monitored Intersections Rigged With Shorter Yellow Signals

(Source: DaveBleasdale/Flickr)

If you find yourself waiting at a traffic light on Ocean Parkway or Emmons Avenue and feel the need for speed, it might be wise to cool your engines.

According to the New York Post, the city’s newly installed red light cameras are rigged to traffic lights with faster than average yellow lights. The duration of a “regular” yellow traffic light is three seconds, while lights rigged with cameras that catch speeders and red light violators have been clocked as low as 2.53 seconds, according to a study done by the AAA.

As you might already expect, these shorter yellow lights have brought in a boatload of revenue, racking up $235 million in funds in the past five years, and upwards of $47 million last year alone.

DOT spokeswoman Nicole Garcia suggested there’s no discrepancy between camera-monitored intersections and others, but did note that, if there was, the city has every right to do so.

“There is no legal requirement for the length of a yellow signal … Our practice is consistent with federal guidelines that ‘the yellow … should have a minimum duration of three seconds.’ This provides adequate time for a motorist traveling the speed limit to come to a stop.”

As we’ve covered previously, some say the cameras attached to the lights show no mercy when recording violators, punishing motorists with $50 tickets for cruising through the light a fraction of a second too late.

The city insists that the cameras promote safety, but when the lights are rigged, all signs seem to point towards a cheap source of massive revenue, not protection.

[via Friends of Ocean Parkway]