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]

Comment policy


  1. DOT came out with their defense on their website categorically denying every complaint detailed in the Post article. Your readers should note that there is a new red light camera on the southbound side just south of the Belt Parkway where cars turn left to go to Belt Parkway east. What is most interesting on Ocean Parkway northbound from the BP is that there are three cameras; the one that is on Church Avenue that was one of the first installed and the other two are on Avenue X and then again one block later on Avenue W. Seems odd to me that those two were positioned one after the other in this neighborhood and not a single camera from W to Church Avenue…almost 4 miles. Too many drivers speed recklessly and run red lights on OP. They deserve to be ticketed. But if the DOT is hoping to send a message the current positioning of the only two northbound cameras and exempting the rest of the parkway deserves some answers.

  2. Hardly surprising. Another sneaky Bloomberg tactic to nickel and dime the average NYorker! Only proves, three times (as mayor) is NO lady.

  3. There are studies out there linking LONGER yellow lights to less accidents. If the red light cameras are to reduce accidents, they could have done much better by extending the yellow lights, instead. Furthermore, I want you to look into how much money the camera company makes. They usually make a huge chunk of your fine.

  4. New Jersey has a longer duration yellow light and I think it works so much better than slamming on the brakes and stopping short for a quick changing yellow light to red.

  5. Traffic cameras are just another form of Policing for Profit as Capitalism distorts our Justice System. These companies are bottom-feeders and take a 40% cut of the tickets while creating MORE dangerous intersections by fixing the lengths of yellow lights to entrap drivers. You can read about how private companies and crooked politicians have turned our Police forces on their ear in every attempt to squeeze money out of the general public at

  6. $50,oo ticket is a bargain… Just received a red light ticket in Nassau County from red light camera. I made a legal right turn on red light, but they claim that I did NOT make a FULL stop FIRST. Their $50.oo ticket is $80.oo ($50.oo fine, plus $30.oo Administrative Fee.)

  7. And are these cameras catching all those crazy cyclists that our wonderful mayor and bike happy commissioner pine over? Are they getting slapped with $50 tickets for running red lights which they do every single day along Ocean Parkway and everywhere else? Of course not. They are being rewarded with extra bike lanes while traffic lanes are sacrificed.

  8. I agree. You would think near Ave’s J,K,L and Bay Parkway at least one camera. Wrong neighborhood, Unless the local residents want it, it won’t be done.

  9. Hmmm, such defense of the right to run a red light. Must be a heckuva lot of people doing so. Then again, I walk a lot and regularly almost get run over like every other block, so I didn’t need to read Bites and comments to tell me that.

  10. Catch ’em both. The crazy cyclists, and the crazy drivers. And throw in the pedestrians who put their head down when crossing against the light.

  11. Political Correctness at its best… “Local residents”, “Wrong neighborhood” people are afraid to speak their minds. Sick of it.

  12. Queen Bloomberg doesn’t even want yellow lights:

    “I’m not sure why we give you any time at all”

    A City infested with criminals, welfare cheats, scam artists and Liberals who vote, is ruled by a senile lunatic who gives his mentally ill head of DOT free rein and schemes to rob everyone they can.

    All the good New Yorkers fled New York City 20 years ago.

  13. Did you not understand what I said?
    Got anything other than being sick to add to it?
    P.S. You don’t know me very well, do you.

  14. Thanks for the laugh though I have never been called politically correct before. I don’t feel any different. LOL
    Just joking, it’s all good.

  15. I know all about mechanics of a red light camera and how they work. Some of you have no clue how it works and still keep crying and complaining. RED LIGHT cameras are fair deal. if you drive within posted speed limit you will never go thru red light, only those of you who is speeding and trying not stop short at the intersection or trying not to spill coffee in your car thus you go thru the red light. if you are within speed limit you have time to react on yellow and stop safely on time before it turns red.
    Try for once driving within speed limit and you never get a red light ticket.
    if you go 40-50 miles and afraid to spill coffee or you simply dont want to use hard braking then you tend to speed up and go thru red light.
    bottom line 30 miles an hour never gets you a ticket.

  16. All the good New Yorkers fled New York City 20 years ago

    Kthxbye, and don’t let the door hit you on your way out.


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