Florida extends yellow light times at red-light camera intersections

Fort Lauderdale delivery driver praises longer yellow lights

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – When you promise "freaky fast" service, every second counts. Just ask Rob Skup, a delivery driver at Jimmy John's in Fort Lauderdale where his paycheck hinges on his timely arrival with the customer's lunch.

"I mean, that's what we do," said Skup. "I get paid per delivery, so the faster I move, the more money I make."

Skup was glad to hear that the yellow lights at some of the busiest intersections he travels every day now stay yellow a little longer -- four tenths of second, to be exact -- specifically the intersections where those pesky red-light cameras stand ready to nab drivers who can't hit the brakes in time.

Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney Ted Hollander hails the state's move to extend the yellow lights, saying it'll give drivers more time to respond.

"Most of the time the violations are very close calls," said Hollander.

A study released by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows statewide last year, crashes at red-light camera intersections were up 21 percent.

"If you're traveling at 45 mph, for example, if takes a certain period of time to make sure that your vehicle can safely stop at the intersection," said Hollander. "The more time that's given by the yellow, the safer the intersection is going to be for everybody."

Skup does between 15-25 deliveries a day. He admits in his quest to provide "freaky fast" service, he's been caught twice by the red-light cameras. For him, a half-second longer yellow could translate into more green.

"It could equate to more money for me if I didn't have to wait for the two-minute light cycle," Skup said.