Drivers nearing an intersection often run into a dilemma zone … when the light turns yellow and the motorist has to decide if there’s time to go through or whether to stop. The state senate has passed a proposed law making those dilemma zones uniform throughout Missouri.
St. Louis Senator Jim Lembke, a devoted opponent of red-light cameras, suspects some cities that use those cameras manipulate yellow light intervals to write more tickets at those intersections. He says studies show the dilemma zone can be addressed by adding less than a second on the yellow light time. Shortening those times makes the intersections more dangerous.
The solution is to have the state transportation department establish a minimum yellow-light time at all intersections with signals. He says a Texas Department of Transportation study shows that a one second reduction of yellow-light time increased red light camera violations issued by 110 percent. He says the same study also finds that using a uniform formula cuts intersection crashes by 40 percent.
Lembke says the city of Arnold, which uses red-light cameras, reduced the number of tickets at those intersections by 90 percent by adopting the uniform yellow-light intervals.
Lembke’s bill has been given the green light by the Senate, which has sent the bill to the House.