Short Green Times are Trapping Drivers at Red Light Camera Intersections

by TheNewspaper.com

The relation of short yellow timing at intersections and ticketing revenue has been at the forefront of public discussion of photo enforcement since at least 2001 when a congressional report raised questions about the practice.

This week, investigative reporters in two d
ifferent states reported on shortened green time as a factor in red light camera ticketing. Lufkin, Texas motorist Nathaniel Shaw told KTRE-TV's investigative reporters about what he saw as a trap laid at the intersection of Chestnut and Timberland.

"I can guarantee you it does not stay on green when you cross over Timberland it does not stay on green more than three seconds," Shaw said. "More than five seconds at the most. Maybe three cars get through then all of a sudden you have to stop."

Although Texas Department of Transportation standards suggest the signal should stay green for a minimum of eight to ten seconds, KTRE timed the light at between three and five seconds of green. Shaw and others find this to be an inadequate time to clear the intersection, and each time someone fails to slam on the brakes in time, Lufkin will pocket $22.50, the state of Texas takes $22.50 and German red light camera vendor Traffipax earns $30. Officials say the timing results from programming designed to optimize traffic flow during peak traffic periods.

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