The state of California is considering lowering speed limits and shortening yellow light times. The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on Assembly Bill 529. This bill proposes to rewrite the state’s speed trap law so that cities would be able to round down all speed limits. The measure passed the full Assembly by a 77 to 0 vote on May 19.
Jurisdictions within California must set the speed limit at 35 MPH under current law, if traffic is shown moving at that speed. The speed limit must be rounded to the nearest 5 MPH increment. However, a locality can reduce the limit to 30 MPH if there is a safety issue. The proposed legislation would allow jurisdictions to lower the speed limit to 30 MPH without any justification needed by rounding down 5 MPH.
Once the limit is lowered to 30 MPH, the jurisdiction is legally allowed to shorten its yellow light times from 3.6 seconds to 3.2 seconds. Even if that 0.4 seems minor, that difference will generate a significant amount of additional revenue by red light cameras. The red light camera tickets can cost between $405 to $505 each. There was a 110 percent increase in citations reported by the Texas Transportation Institute when yellow lights had shorter times. Interestingly, the majority of those extra violations occurred within the first 0.25 seconds.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]