“Cities and for-profit camera companies maximize revenue by setting yellow-light times that are too short,” said National Motorists Association President Gary Biller. “It is a violation of the public trust, and it jeopardizes motorist, cyclist, and pedestrian safety.”

Ironically, slightly longer yellow lights can significantly increase safety by allowing more time for intersections to clear, the group says. Biller cited one study that found just one additional second of yellow time can reduce the number of collisions in an intersection by 40 percent.

Longer yellow lights also greatly reduce the number of red-light violations. A recent Texas study concluded, “Lengthening the yellow light interval by as little as 0.5 to 1.5 seconds decreases the incidence of red-light running violations by 50 percent or more,” Biller said in a Nov. 16 letter to the head of the Federal Highway Administration, Victor Mendez.