Cilmi seeks longer yellows, reds at traffic lights

Legislator Tom Cilmi wants to lengthen the timing of red and yellow lights to make Suffolk intersections safer.

Legislator Tom Cilmi wants to lengthen the timing of red and yellow lights to make Suffolk intersections safer.

Legislator Tom Cilmi wants to lengthen the timing of red and yellow lights to make Suffolk intersections safer. (4/22/16)

COMMACK - Legislator Tom Cilmi wants to lengthen the timing of red and yellow lights to make Suffolk intersections safer.

Cilmi’s Safer Streets bill would require the county to calibrate the duration of the yellow signal changes at all intersections, calibrate the duration of the red, and require red traffic lights to stay red for a maximum allowable duration to clear traffic and prevent possible collisions.

County engineers currently use federal guidelines to calibrate yellow light duration at about 10 percent of the posted speed limit. For instance, a 40 mph road would have a yellow light of four seconds.

“It's common sense that if we lengthen the amount of time people have to stop at a light, instead of rushing through a red light, that that intersection will be safer,” says Cilmi.

AAA spokesman Alec Slatky has doubts about the legislation.

"We don't want legislators who don't know much about traffic engineering dictating to the engineers what they should be doing,” says Slatky. 

 Cilmi's bill could be voted on as early as June 1.
 

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