Proposed Bill To Change Yellow Light Timings in TN Faces Scrutiny
A state representative has proposed a bill that would increase the time it takes for traffic lights to change from yellow to red, but some opponents of the bill say that changing the timing wouldn’t be the right move for all intersections in the state.
According to a report by WSMV.com, the bill’s sponsor says that increasing the time it takes for traffic lights to change from yellow to red from three seconds to five seconds would give drivers more time to safely pass through intersections, and that the extended time would also decrease red light violations by around 80 percent.
In addition, the bill sponsor says that increasing the length of yellow lights would reduce the fines that drivers receive due to red light cameras—which he says are revenue-based and not designed to improve safety.
However, the directors of both the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Council of Engineering Companies say that each intersection throughout the state should be carefully evaluated before changing yellow light time limits. In addition, changing the timing of lights is estimated to cost $8.75 million, with a $2,500 fee per inspection of each intersection with traffic lights in the state.
Tips for Driving Safely when Approaching or Passing through Intersections
Intersections are among the most dangerous parts of roadways. Traffic lights, stop signs, roundabouts, and yield signs are used to help manage traffic at intersections, but driver error contributes to thousands of auto accidents at intersections throughout the nation every week. Obeying basic traffic signals and laws is effective at reducing the risks that drivers face at intersections, but they aren’t always enough to fully protect your safety.
To drive safely when approaching and passing through intersections in Middle Tennessee, do your best to follow these tips:
- Never attempt to “beat” a red light.
If you’re less than 100 feet away from an intersection and the traffic lights turn yellow, maintain your speed and pass through it. However, if your vehicle’s distance is greater than 100 feet from an intersection, begin slowing down and preparing to stop immediately. Attempting to beat a red light can put you at risk of receiving a ticket or being involved in an accident.
- Pause momentarily before accelerating when stopped at traffic lights.
It’s human nature to want to accelerate as soon as a traffic light turns green, but doing so can put your vehicle directly in the path of drivers who run red lights at cross streets. Always pause and count to three before accelerating, and then increase your speed slowly but steadily as you leave the traffic stop and enter the intersection.
- Proceed with caution when lights are flashing yellow; stop when they’re flashing red.
Traffic lights sometimes flash yellow or red—especially late at night. When that happens, it’s important to understand the difference between the two signals. A flashing yellow light means that you should proceed through the intersection with caution and be aware of the presence of vehicles at cross streets. A flashing red light means that you should come to a complete stop and wait for the intersection to clear before entering it. If other vehicles are also stopped, treat the intersection like a four-way stop.
Regardless of the time of day or where you’re driving, intersections should always be treated with caution and alertness—even when you have a green light and a clear path. It’s important to be prepared to stop quickly when the lights turn yellow, and to also be aware of the fact that drivers frequently try to beat red lights or run them outright.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys have two decades of experience helping car accident victims, and we know that a large number of crashes in Middle Tennessee occur at intersections. If you were injured in a wreck at an intersection that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. To find out how we can put our experience to work for your family, dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.