Anniston leaders consider longer yellow light at intersections

By Dixon Hayes
ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) - The yellow light that means "clear the intersection" could light up longer if some Anniston residents have their way.
City leaders are considering a request from Dr. Mike Kline. He operates a business one street  from Anniston's busiest, Quintard Avenue.
Kline suggested to the Anniston City Council the yellow light remain for one more second on all  traffic lights heading north and south on Quintard Avenue. 
He supports his thoughts with studies from Georgia and Maryland, suggesting it would not only move traffic more smoothly but even reduce the number of accidents.
But not everyone agrees.  Anniston Police Sgt. Scott Grissom heads the department's special operations unit, which includes traffic accident investigation.  Sgt Grissom believes the longer yellow light would actually cause more accidents, because of more people rushing through the light at once.
Grissom says Anniston averages about 100 accidents a month, and about 20-25% of those happen on Quintard Avenue. 
He added that most of those come not from people stopping too quickly when the light changes yellow, but from people just not practicing defensive driving.
Mayor Gene Robinson tells FOX6 News that Dr. Kline met with the city's public works director, but no decisions have been made. Robinson says it's the state's decision. The city can only make recommendations.
Robinson did say, however, the city will more likely time out all the lights on the side streets to synchronize them with the amount of time the signals light up on Quintard Avenue, based on the state's pattern.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.