• Yellow-light times will be longer in Apopka


    APOPKA, Fla. - Drivers in Apopka will soon have more time to make it through yellow lights.

    The city is adding more time to lights at several intersections with red light cameras.

    City leaders told WFTV it all comes down to drivers' safety.

    The intersection at Park Avenue and Main Street is a busy intersection, and now people who drive through there will have an extra second to get through before being caught by one of the cameras.

    "People think, 'Oh, I need to get through the light, it's fixing to turn red,'" Chuck Vavreck, with the city of Apopka.

    But after growing talk in other communities that yellow lights seemed to be shorter at intersections with cameras, Vavreck and other Apopka officials decided to extend the length of yellow lights in those intersections by an extra second.

    The times varied based on the roads' speed limits, but the lights were already long enough, based on state requirements.

    "We decided to lengthen it by that extra second to see if it does change and continue to change driving habits," said Vavreck.

    But Vavreck is not convinced giving people more time to stop will drastically lower the number of violations.

    "People get used to, OK, this is the timing now, and they'll push a little more," said Vavreck.

    Driver James Thomann was on his way to pay for his red-light-running violation.

    "I was like, 'Not another one,' because I've had three in the last year," Thomann said.

    Vavreck runs the city's red light program and said they've seen as much as a 90 percent drop in red light runners at some intersections with cameras.

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