Southern Arizona | Investigating 4 You

What’s Driving You Crazy? Short yellow lights

TUCSON – Short yellow lights that’s what’s driving you crazy.

News 4 Tucson viewer Ron just returned from a cross-country road trip. He said he noticed something that drove him a little crazy.

“I noticed that yellow lights in Tucson are much shorter than others in the country, why?” he said

To determine the yellow clearance intervals for through movements, TDOT uses an “ITE Equation.” It assumes a one second reaction time and a deceleration rate of 10 feet per second.

TDOT uses the national standard for yellow lights which is three to six seconds.

“Higher speed roadways have a little bit longer clearance times where as lower speed roadways will have a little shorter,” said Sam Credio, interim deputy director of transportation.

There is a difference the faster you go.

“Our major roadways are 20 seconds – Golf Links, Broadway, Speedway, Grant road,” Credio said. “That’s where you’ll experience the longer clearance intervals.:

On minor roadways like Broadway and Sixth Avenue, it is 25 M.P.H.

“So that’s where you’ll see a little shorter yellow clearance times,” said Credio. “So it just really depends on where you’re traveling in the city.”

What’s Driving You Crazy? Send your traffic questions or concerns to



Scroll to top
Skip to content