Could Longer Yellow Lights Significantly Reduce Traffic Violations? A Texas Town Thinks So.



A Texas town is looking into extending the duration of yellow lights after a study suggested that longer yellow light intervals can reduce the number of red-light-running incidents.

In April of 2018 the city of Denton, Texas started an experiment at an intersection equipped with a red light camera by lengthening the yellow light interval by one second, from 3.5 to 4.5 seconds. The particular intersection had recorded a high of 91 red-light-running incidents in April of 2017.

After the first full month with a longer yellow light interval at this intersection, red light runners totaled 19, which was the lowest count for more than a year leading up to the study. The decrease continued for the remainder of 2018, with the maximum single-month red-light-runner count at 25 in September of 2018.

However, despite lowering the number of red-light-runners, the intersection did report an increased rate of accidents for the year 2018 by two. Three of these crashes came before the program’s implementation. Regardless, the city is pleased with the results and have proposed having longer yellow light intervals at two additional intersections.