The Florida Department of Transportation recently announced that it will be re-calculating the current timing on all yellow lights in all of the state's intersections.
According to an article in The Florida Times-Union, yellow-light durations will see an increase of four-tenths of a second prior to the light turning red. The increase in yellow-light durations will be implemented first in all intersections with red-light cameras by the end of the year, and all other intersections in the state will be updated by June 20, 2015.
Florida's DOT Traffic Operations Engine Mark Wilson told The Florida Times-Union that as drivers get older, they can't quite react to changing traffic lights as they used to.
“People who can’t make it in time make up for it by braking faster,” Wilson told The Florida Times-Union. “That means we have people who are doing hard braking. That allows the person to say, I don’t have to slam on my brakes. I can make it through this.
“I’m hoping our rear-end crashes drop because of this,” he said, writing later that some research says “when you install a red-light-running-camera that you will have a drop in the right-angle crashes, but also sometimes a small increase in rear-end crashes, so I was thinking that a slightly longer yellow phase may help with this issue,” according the the article.
The article goes on to site the reason behind the decision to increase the time duration on yellow lights comes from a report by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. It said: "the average reaction time is 1 second, but a considerable chunk of he popultion - 15% - takes 1.33 seconds or longer to react. The report said those slower-reacting drivers could still brake in time for yellow lights but they’d have to slow down more rapidly," according to the article.