Yellow lights to be longer at some Denver intersections

DENVER - The city of Denver will not add more red light cameras right now, and instead, will increase the time some lights are yellow.

Wednesday, the city council had been set to vote on a plan to add the red light cameras to intersections at 13th and Lincoln, 18th and Lincoln and Alameda and Santa Fe.

But Councilman Kevin Flynn recently sent city leaders an e-mail that changed their mind.

It basically said, cameras aren't the answer to stopping red light runners. Instead, it's longer yellow lights.

"We were going to induce violations and we were going to profit from our own engineering mistakes," Councilman Flynn told FOX31.

That's because not all of Denver's yellow lights are created equal.

Some of them last three seconds - the federal minimum - while others last for up to five seconds.

Councilman Flynn cited studies in other states, including California, that show when yellow lights last longer, red light runners drastically decrease.

Therefore, so does the money cities generate from red light cameras.

In 2017, Denver collected about $1.2 million dollars from their fines.

"We’re mailing people fines that are the product of our own inadequate signal times...and that’s not right," Councilman Flynn said. "I don’t need their money that badly."

Now, the city will increase yellow light times to four seconds at 13th and Lincoln and 18th and Lincoln and study the results for up to nine months. Then it plans to revisit the red light camera issue.

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