Yellow traffic lights could be same across Missouri

Published: Feb. 15, 2012 at 3:21 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2012 at 1:31 PM CST
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DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - The time a yellow traffic light flashes could become the same across the state of Missouri.

A St. Louis County Senator is proposing legislation that would make the time the yellow traffic light is uniform across the state.

Senator Jim Limbke proposed Senate Bill 611, which if legislators approve it, it would go into effect in August 2012.

He says the uniform time will prevent cities with red light cameras, from being tempted to use shorter yellow light times as a way to give more red light camera tickets.

Limbke says shorter yellow lights could be more dangerous for traffic.

Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Clark Parrott says it's important for all drivers to pay attention to yellow lights.

"Treat a yellow light, almost like a red light, and not hurry up and try to race it, just slow down because something is about to happen," said Parrott. "You never know Christy, that the guy that blows through the yellow light, you know somebody else could be on the other side waiting for it and blow through it as well, and the two are going to meet in the middle. So we just want to try to get people to pay attention, and slow down. The average traffic light is red in your direction for 30-45 seconds, so in the big scheme of things, that's not that big of a deal."

He says he doesn't know if this legislation would help the safety for drivers on the road.

"A set 3 seconds, or a set 5 seconds, or whatever, because eventually people are going to time it, and they are going to realize hey I've got six seconds to get through this traffic light, so yeah it may of went to yellow, but I can still beat it," said Parrott. "And that's where accidents, that's where the traffic crashes are really going to go up."

The Federal Highway Administration mandates yellow lights last from 3 to 6 seconds.

You can see the proposed bill here.

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