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posted: 5/30/2013 5:00 AM

Money, not safety, behind shorter 'yellow' times

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Since the shortening of Chicago city yellow-light times, there has been much public outcry over the fact that many think three seconds is too short.

Those in favor of the change argue that the three-second yellow lights meet state and federal standards as well as the guidelines of the Institute of Transportation. They also note that this decrease will help raise revenue via tickets distributed as a result of footage caught on red-light cameras.

Those against the change accuse it of being a poorly-concealed scheme of the city's to make easy money with no regard to public safety.

I am partial to the side that favors longer yellow light times. I think it is irresponsible for the city to shorten time that is meant to serve as a safety cushion for cars entering and exiting the intersection.

It is true that three seconds meets all the required standards, but it is also true that a shorter yellow light means more rear-end accidents, if not more head-on collisions.

The city will surely make more money with the change, but the money made will not be honest money. By shortening the time drivers have to get out of the intersection and avoid the red-light cameras, it is almost as though the city is cheating them out of their money.

To me, this whole scenario seems vaguely similar to a child who spontaneously changes the rules of a game so that he can win.

Katylyn Frew


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