The yellow light of an overhead traffic signal. It usually means one of two things, slow down to a stop because the light is turning red, or speed up significantly you're about to get stuck at a red light. Most drivers have a clock in their heads as to how long that traffic signal is going to stay yellow. That means most drivers know whether they can zip through the intersection without incident or if they'll be running a red light and risking life, limb and getting a ticket.

There are federal guidelines for how long the yellow light should remain on. Did you know that shortening the length of that yellow light can lead to some significant green? Green as in cash money for municipalities that utilize automated traffic cameras?

A recent report out of Tampa Florida showed that government officials had changed the yellow light length by a fraction of a second at many intersections with red light cameras. The result was a huge increase in ticketed drivers and therefore a huge increase in revenue. In fact the amount of money generated was doubled in some cases.

Could this be happening in Lafayette Parish where red light cameras are utilized to monitor the flow of traffic? We'd like to investigate. If you drive through an intersection that seems to have a very short or shorter than normal yellow light please let us know about it. Perhaps some of the lights in our own community are timed below federal standards. With so much money at stake and the parish council in discussions over how to put more teeth into collecting red light camera fines we all need to know our rights.