An opponent of the bill argues that it's dangerous to lengthen yellow lights:
“This bill would put millions of California drivers at risk for increased crashes,” said Richard Retting, a consultant for Redflex. The company supplies most red light cameras in California. . . . Retting points to a study by the American Academy of Sciences. “That study shows that when yellow timing is increased, crashes go up,” he said.
Redflex offers a rationale for this claim in their letter to Sen. Mark DeSaulnier opposing AB 612:
Mr. Retting concludes that, "Providing excessive yellow signal timing as mandated under Assembly Bill No. 612 violates established engineering practice. This would encourage drivers to enter intersections further into the yellow phase and could disrupt the flow of vehicles from intersection to intersection, ultimately creating a risk of increased crashes."
The bill's sponsor counters that the claim is not credible, noting bias and counterevidence:
Jay Beeber with Safer Streets L.A. disagrees. “He is a scientist who has been bought and paid for by the red light camera companies,” he said.
Beeber, who sponsored the bill, told KPIX 5 that data in the study is too limited. “Georgia increased yellow light times by a full second. They had a reduction in red light running and have had no ill effects,” he said.
Unfortunately, the article does not provide any verifiable evidence for or against the opposition's claim. Neither the article nor the letter to the senator actually cite the “study by the American Academy of Sciences,” so I cannot judge its validity. I personally find the claim dubious, but I could be convinced by solid evidence. What are the facts here?