Yellow Light Times Getting Standardized Across Missouri

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- At some intersections across the city, it seems that if you blink then you'll miss the yellow light - and at intersections with a red-light camera, that could mean that you get a ticket.

But a bill signed into law this week by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon should help put an end to that problem, and the legislator who sponsored the bill, which requires yellow light times to be standardized across the state, says that it should not only make intersections safer but it will also keep cities from cashing-in on red-light cameras.

Missouri Sen. Jim Lembke, R-District 1, says that the Missouri Department of Transportation will study and then implement the plan to standardize the lights to make sure that intersections remain safe.

"The slope of the intersection, the speed, traffic patterns, pedestrian patterns, all kinds of factors," will be factored in, said Lembke.

For drivers like Hank Denning, who once got a ticket from the red-light camera at 39th Street and Southwest Trafficway, the legislation is good news.

"That light is shorter than the one compared to 39th and Broadway, and 39th and Main. It seems like you have more leeway compared to the one here," said Denning.

Lembke, who believes that red-light cameras are unconstitutional, says that he believes that some cities are intentionally shortening yellow light times at red-light camera intersections so that they can write more tickets.

Earlier this week, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department released a study that shows red-light cameras have worked in reducing accidents at the 17 red-light camera intersections across the city. According to the three-year study, crashes stemming from running a red light went down 65 percent in the first year after the cameras were installed, and 54 percent in the second year.

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