TheNewspaper.com released a report earlier today detailing a congressional bill that has been introduced by an Illinois Senator that aims to improve the safety of Illinois intersections. The bill, titled Senate Bill 3504, would ultimately require that municipalities or counties around the state add one second or more of yellow light timing to traffic signals at red light camera locations. Additionally, the bill would mandate cities to use nationally recognized standards in order to determine adequate timing for yellow lights and then add an additional second.
However, a Chicago car accident lawyer at our firm learned that this congressional bill has faced harsh criticism from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Despite increased evidence that supports the yellow light initiative – such as drastically reducing red light running, the Illinois Department of Transportation argues the opposition of this bill due to “safety concerns.” According to the report, it is alleged that the source of the IDOT’s opposition in inherent in the notion that if the safety bill is enacted, it would reduce red light violations and the revenues that come from subsequent fines.
On the other hand, research and statistics have provided great insight into just home beneficial extending yellow light signal times. A study determining the impact of lengthening the yellow light signal show great reductions in red light running from 30 percent to 92 percent. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2007 revealed a 36 percent decrease in red light violations when longer yellow lights were employed.
Around the nation continued studies have proven the dramatic decrease in red light running through extended yellow lights. In California, a 92 percent reduction in red light violations occurred after extended yellow light times while the state of Georgia found an 80 percent reduction in red light running when an additional second was added to yellow traffic signals. However, Georgia’s extended yellow lights were ultimately dismantled due to the lack of red light violations.
Currently, the city of Chicago traffic lights are set at the shortest federally accepted standard for yellow light signals at three seconds. All the while, our Illinois car accident attorneys learned that suburban areas around the city maintain four second yellow lights at intersections.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys continue to encourage Illinois, as well as, nationwide legislation that mandates safe driving habits. According to the most up to date statistics provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were approximately 30,797 fatal accidents in 2009. Of that number, the majority of those killed on injured in traffic crashes were driver (63 percent), closely followed by passengers at 28 percent. Considering these harrowing statistics, drivers of all types of motor vehicles should always exercise the utmost caution each and every time a vehicle is operated.