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5/18/2007
Missouri: City Lowers Yellow Light Time Before Installing Cameras
Springfield, Missouri cuts the yellow time at over 100 intersections prior to starting red light camera ticketing.

Intersection map, SpringfieldThe city of Springfield, Missouri prepared for the installation of a red light camera system by slashing the yellow warning time by one second at 105 state-owned intersection signals across the city. In a 2005 Texas Transportation Institute study, a one-second reduction in yellow time resulted in a 100% increase in the number of violations (Table 6-2). Each violation under Springfield's new system will bring a $100 fine to city coffers after ticketing begins on June 1.

"There has also been concern expressed that engineering countermeasures are sometimes not fully considered prior to the implementation of enforcement," the Texas report stated.

The city defended its effort to the Springfield News-Leader by claiming it was "standardizing" and had increased the yellow time at 136 city-operated lights to meet national standards. During the city council meeting last October where the red light camera ordinance was approved, however, Assistant Director of Public Works Earl Newman gave a different explanation for the reduction. Newman said he was, "concerned that many individuals run the light if the light remained yellow too long."

The first five cameras are to be installed at intersections run by the city, but once the system is up and running, officials plan to add more cameras.

Source: Camera spots 11 red-light runners (Springfield News-Leader (MO), 5/17/2007)

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