What is the Proper Length for a Yellow Light?

Drives Should Be Wary of Short Yellow Lights at Camera Enforced Intersections

If you get a red light photo ticket one of the things you should do right away goes back to the location of the intersection listed on the ticket and time the yellow light. Many times cities employ too-short yellow lights which results in more people running red lights (and increased revenue) because they couldn’t stop in time- and you need to make sure this didn’t happen to you.  

Go back to the intersection with a stopwatch and from the time it turns from green to yellow, begins timing until it changes from yellow to red. You’ll want to do this a few times for accuracy. Jot down the yellow time and then make your comparisons.

Are there laws making yellow lights standard? The length of the yellow light cannot be just arbitrary. The California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (“MUTCD”), prescribes uniform standards for all official traffic control devices in California and the MUTCD section 4D-10 and Table 4D-102(CA), sets forth the minimum time for traffic signal yellow light change intervals. Section 4D-10 also provides that the time for a yellow light change interval may be increased through field review and appropriate judgment of the local agency. The MUTCD is very clear that increasing the yellow light interval above the minimum prescribed in the same section is an option and in no manner a requirement. Decreasing the yellow light interval below the minimum, however, is not an option.

Check the Table (Table 4D-102) to see if the yellow light change interval at your intersection is non- compliant. Here are a couple examples of minimum yellow light times:

• If the posted speed limit is 25 (or less) mph the minimum yellow interval is 3.0 seconds (this includes both right and left-hand turns).
• If the posted speed limit is 35 mph the minimum yellow interval is 3.6 seconds.
• If the posted speed limit is 45 mph the minimum yellow interval is 4.3 seconds.


A93820014BS Abu Dhabi accidents ACLU ACS Advertising Aha Mobile AI Airsage ALPR ALPR Cameras Android Apple Arizona Atlanta ATS Attorney Australia Auto Insurance average speed cameras Baltimore Belgium Beltronics Bikes Bribe Brooklyn Buy Buying California Camera Vans Canada carplay Carpool Cars CDOT cell phone Chicago City Council Class Action Cobra Colorado Connected Signals Connecticut construction contracts Corruption courtesty notice courtesy notice Crashes crime Crosswalk crowdsourcing Culver City Dangerous Intersections Dash Cam Data Database Des Moines Distracted Drivers DIY DOT download Drivers License Driving Instructor Drowsy Drunk Drivers Dubai DUI E-ZPass England Escort Europe Facial Recognition failure to stop Fake Cameras FasTrak Fighting Tickets Finance Fines Fleets Florida FOIA Ford France freedom of information act request Garmin Gatso Georgia Germany Ghost Glendale Google Google Maps Government GPS Angel GPS Navigation Guest Writer Hawaii Here Highway Robbery Highways HOV Cameras How To humor Illinois Injury Inrix Insignia Instagram Insurance Insurenet iOS IOT Iowa iphone iRadar Ireland Italy Iteris Joe Biden Laser Craft Law Suit Laws lawyer Left Turns legal Legislation License Plate Local London Long Beach Los Angeles Loud Exhaust Louisiana LPR Cameras Lyft Machine Learning Magellan Maine Maintenance Manhattan maps Marketing Maryland Massachusetts Microsoft Minnesota Missouri Mitac Mobile Ads Mobile Apps mobile speed zone Motorcycle MTA Navigation Navigon Navteq Nestor Netherlands New Jersey New Mexico New Orleans New York New Zealand News NHTSA Nokia NTSB Oahu Oakland Ohio Oregon Parking Parking Tickets Parks Peasy Pennsylvania Phantom Alert Philadelphia Phoenix Photo Notice photographs POI Points Poland police Politics Poll Portugal Privacy Progressive Web App Protest Radar Railroad Reckless Driving red light cameras RedFlex RedSpeed redzone refunds Removing rental car tickets Repairs research revenue Rhode Island Ridesharing Right Turns rolling right turns Russia Sacramento Safe Speed Safety Safety Cameras San Diego San Francisco San Jose Scam Schools Seat Belt Seattle secutity settlement Shutting Down signs Singapore Snitch Tickets solar Sound Cameras Spain speed cameras Speed Vans State Ban stop sign cameras Street View Students subpoena Subscription Supreme Court Surveillance Switzerland Taxi Technology TeleAtlas Telematics Tennessee Tesla Texas Texting Tickets Tips Toll Road TomTom Tracking Traffic traffic attorney Traffic Camera Traffic Lights Traffic Safety Traffic School traffic tickets Traffic.com Trapster Trial by Written Declaration Trinity Trucking trucks UAE Uber UK Unpaid Ticket Vehicle Occupancy Verra Mobility video Vigilant Violation Fines Violation Info Violation Speed Virginia Vision Zero Voters warning devices warning notice Washington Washington DC Waze Wikango Xerox Yellow Lights YouTube