DELAWARE - In Delaware, red light cameras brought in more than $4 Million in 2012, according to the Delaware Department of Transportation. But nationwide, organizations such as the National Motorist Association have raised concerns over these red light citations, saying that yellow lights are not lasting long enough to allow drivers to slow down.
To address this concern, WBOC took to the streets of Sussex County Wednesday to evaluate the duration of these lights in the first state. There are a total of 30 red light cameras in Delaware, including five in Sussex County.
In a recording at two cameras on Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach, as well as one on Route 113 in Millsboro, WBOC found that the yellow lights were up for five seconds.
DelDOT officials said that this duration was normal for the speeds on these roads, saying that the durations are between 4 and 6 seconds at all locations.
DelDOT said that this duration is often shorter in turn lanes, something that leads to more red light citations to turning vehicles.
Seth Bratten, of Rehoboth Beach works outside on the corners of Route One and Old Landing Road, and said he thinks the yellow lights should be longer.
"You hear the brakes go off whenever they're trying to slow down as quickly as possible," he said.
He thought that the duration should be increased since many people travel well above 50 miles per hour on Coastal High Way. To find out what time is too short, WBOC reached out to physicist Dr.Hacene Boukari from Del State.
He said that at 55 mph, a driver travels more than 400 feet in five seconds. Whether that is enough space depends on the car's weight and it's braking ability, he said.
In Millsboro, Angie Seymore who works at Uncle Willie's on the corner of Route 13 and Route 20, said that she sees people get caught by the cameras often while at work. She said she even got a couple tickets of her own at that intersection.
"They've got me," she said. "They've got me a couple of times."
One violation cost her about $115. In Delaware, there were about 38,000 of these violations leading to more than $4.25 Million.