Extra Tulsa Police Patrol Cracks Down On Yellow Light Runners

Monday, November 26th 2012, 6:12 pm
By: Emory Bryan

News came last weekend that Tulsa police will be cracking down on red light-runners. But police aren't just focusing on drivers who go through red lights—they're ticketing people who run through on yellow, too.

There are only three colors on a traffic signal, but it seems a lot of people don't understand the one in the middle.

Police said the yellow light is sometimes ignored and sometimes misinterpreted. For instance, it does not mean, "Hurry up and go."

"A lot of people think as long as it's yellow when they enter, it's okay, and that's not the case. They need to be out of the intersection when the light turns red," said Officer Stephen Florea.

11/25/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police Crack Down On Traffic Light Violators

Not understanding that distinction is enough to earn a $150 fine for running a yellow light.

It's a city ordinance and on the state driver's exam, and the rule is this: "You must stop if you can stop safely before entering the crosswalk at the intersection."

"If you're approaching the intersection and the light turns yellow, that means be prepared to stop, not hurry up and beat the light," Florea said.

From his patrol car at 71st and Memorial, Florea is part of a holiday patrol targeting yellow and red light runners.

He could ticket more drivers, but he can only stop them one at a time.

The officer said it's common for drivers to say they couldn't have stopped safely.

The ticket for going through on red is $200.

Tulsa Police say they'll continue the extra patrol through the holidays when traffic is a little thicker and people are in more of a hurry than usual.