Can manipulating of traffic signals come here?
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED May. 16, 2013
by Dave Culbreth
Cape Coral, Fla.
Is the state transportation department tweaking traffic lights to get you in trouble? Word is the state is making yellow lights shorter as a way to give more tickets. According to reports, some suburbs of Tampa had what's called "red light cameras", those cameras which automatically recorded your license plate and mailed you a ticket if you blew through a red light.
But, can the same thing happen here? Can they manipulate the yellow lights to make you pay more? What was happening was that at intersections with "red light cameras", some Tampa area communities shortened the time of the yellow lights so that they could collect more money in traffic tickets.
Red light camera's used to be in Collier County. But they were taken down at the beginning of the year. "Red light cameras are not an issue in Southwest Florida because the counties locally have chosen not to operate them," says Debbie Tower with the Florida Department of Transportation.
She says you don't need to worry about what happened in Tampa happening here. “We use a formula out of a traffic engineering manual so that we're meeting all DOT standards so that's something that Florida DOT observes very closely."
Tower says the only way a yellow light is shortened here is if the speed limit is lowered for some reason.
So, have you ever wondered why some yellow lights are longer than others? "As the speed limit increases that yellow interval will also increase and reasonably so because we're trying to give enough time for drivers to appropriately stop before they hit the intersection and it changes to a red light," Tower added.
And what's that little blue light that’s above the other traffic signals for? The answer is - it's for cops. So they can tell if you blow through a red light when you're on a side street perpendicular to them. "Most drivers can stop when they see yellow and they need to,” Tower emphasized. “Yellow means stop if you can and most of the time, you can!"
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