We have blogged in the past about red light cameras, specifically on their effect on safety and government income. Noah Pransky of WTSP.com has done report after report on this local issue. In an earlier report by Pransky, he noticed that after red light cameras were installed, the time that traffic lights were yellow was also reduced, thereby making more people run red lights. In turn, government revenue increased. When the city of Tampa increased one yellow light length from 3.9 seconds to 4.8 seconds, tickets at that intersection decreased by 79 percent.
Shortened yellows are not just a financial problem for drivers on the roads in and around Tampa, they are a potential safety hazard as well. Yellow lights are there to specifically alert drivers that a red light is coming. If yellow light times are reduced, it stands to reason that drivers would become prone to stop much quicker, thereby causing more rear end accidents.