JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four-tenths of a second doesn't sound long, but the Florida Department of Transportation says extending yellow lights that amount could save lives.
Courtney Boyd likes the idea.
"There's been a lot of times when I'm going and I hit a yellow light and I feel like I need to slam on my brakes really fast."
That kind of reaction can cause a rear-end crash, so in May, state officials announced that longer yellow lights at all Florida's intersections could help prevent that kind of accident. It plans to lengthen them at most intersections by 0.4 seconds, and by 0.2 seconds at others, based on a series of factors such as speed and terrain.
While it sounds positive, some say the transition of extending those lights could put drivers at risk.
Their concern is two-fold.
First, not all of the lights will be extended at the same time. Some worry drivers will get used to longer lights at some intersections, and then assume they will experience longer lights at other intersections.
Abbey Anderson says getting comfortable with a longer yellow light could be dangerous.
"I travel a lot so going into another state that's different could be confusing."
Second, some believe the state's efforts are just another way of making money. Intersections with red light cameras will be extended first.
Trent Kragness says once drivers know that, they could be encouraged to push the limit. The result could be more tickets being issued.
"I hope the state's real effort in this is to save lives."
But ultimately he believes it could be a good thing.
"It might take some time to get used to, but over the long haul I think it will be better."
The changes to yellow lights at intersections with red-light cameras will take place by the end of the year. All other intersections must be adjusted by June 30, 2015. The adjustment period is meant to give cities and counties time to make the changes without a fiscal impact.
The Florida Department of Transportation says an agency can request that the timing of yellow light at an intersection be changed, but it must perform an official study to justify the need, and the request must be approved by the FDOT.