Yellow Lights: Don’t Mess With the Manual

MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified in opposition to HB 204, Traffic Control Signal Monitoring Systems – Duration of Yellow Signal – otherwise titled the “4-Second Act.” The bill would require counties to ensure that yellow traffic signal lights stay lit for at least four seconds if there is a red light camera located at the intersection.

MACo generally opposes bills which affect county public works departments by attempting to override the sound, established regulations found in the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD is already incorporated into Maryland law through the Transportation Article, as well as the Code of Federal Regulations.

From MACo’s testimony:

Under those preempting regulations, the duration of yellow lights at traffic signals, known as the “clearance interval,” must be based upon variables such as the size of the intersection, legal speed of approaching vehicles, grade and slope of the road approaching the intersection, and closest adjacent traffic signal. These variables all factor into an engineering analysis of how to set the timing on a yellow light.

Find other bills which might affect county public works departments here, and also here.