Red Light Cameras Coming To Some Virginia Areas

July 12, 2007

According to highway safety advocates several areas in Virginia are in the early stages of either creating or reviving red light cameras.

The cameras, used to catch red light runners, were part of legislation that took effect July 1st, allowing localities from around the state to implement the "photo red" programs.

The technology is used to snap pictures of cars that run red lights. The license plate number is used to identify the car's owner, who gets a ticket in the mail.

Proponents of the plan say the cameras decrease broadside collisions. Critics of the program say that using the cameras is an invasion of privacy and that the decrease in broadside collisions is offset by an increase in rear end collisions.

A new study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council confirmed that photo enforcement decreases red-light running crashes but increases rear-end crashes. It found that results significantly vary by jurisdiction and intersection.

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