Three-second amber light not unusual

The in basket: Juanita Moore wrote to say that traveling on Finn Hill Road, heading east toward Poulsbo, she saw what she considered a “very fast yellow” on a traffic signal.
“I have timed it (using) the one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two method and get one-thousand-three almost out before it changes,” she said. “Have seen a couple of people run it and I took a few miles off my tires the other day as I glanced at my speedometer, looked back up and it had gone yellow. (I was doing 30) It was red before I got stopped!
“Isn’t that a bit quick?”


The in basket: Juanita Moore wrote to say that traveling on Finn Hill Road, heading east toward Poulsbo, she saw what she considered a “very fast yellow” on a traffic signal.
“I have timed it (using) the one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two method and get one-thousand-three almost out before it changes,” she said. “Have seen a couple of people run it and I took a few miles off my tires the other day as I glanced at my speedometer, looked back up and it had gone yellow. (I was doing 30) It was red before I got stopped!
“Isn’t that a bit quick? The speed limit is 35 so if you are going that fast and it goes yellow, you really have to sit on those brakes to stop before red.”
The out basket: No, that’s not unusually quick. Three seconds is the standard for the length of yellow lights. The state has the signal at the Finn Hill off-ramp from Highway 3 and Don Anders of its Olympic Region signal shop in Tumwater says they come set at a three-second yellow when purchased and can be increased by a tenth of a second at a time, but aren’t set under three seconds. The yellow timing can go up to four seconds or even 4 1/2 if the light is on a highway at high speed, but
lights on city streets and roads use the standard three seconds.
Juanita didn’t specify which signal on Finn Hill she means, but Dan Wilson of Poulsbo Public Works, which is responsible for all the others on Finn Hill, agreed that what she describes is normal. But he’ll ask the city of Bremerton signal crew, with which Poulsbo contracts for the maintenance of its traffic lights, to check it out when they’re next in town, he said.

2 thoughts on “Three-second amber light not unusual

  1. Three seconds is standard, this news to me. Most states have traffic laws that require one to stop on amber, unless one is too close to the intersection to safely stop prior to the stop line. Then and only then may one pass through the intersection. The amber lights in these states allow for the safe clearing of the intersection and the amber is timed based upon the speed limit. On dry pavement one stops in a shorter distance than in the rain, something we have a lot of in this area. So the amber should be longer than in Arizona, or at least logic would tell one this. But, we live in Northern La La Land, were one can drive a car that is not equipped with headlights, or they are duct taped in place.

  2. I went through an amber light on a a red light camera, It was on amber for three seconds, I’m 99 percent certain it flashed, and I’m wondering will i get any points or a fine?

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