Virginia Cities Installing Traffic Cameras, Accidents Expected to Increase

Red light cameras will soon be issuing tickets in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.. Arlington and Alexandria have already installed the cameras, and, next month, Arlington will begin issuing tickets. Cities install the cameras citing improved safety and a better respect for traffic laws, but some statistics paint a different picture. The cameras may actually increase accidents and injuries. If you have been hurt in a car accident, a Virginia personal injury lawyer can advise you of your rights.

Northern Virginia cities used red-light cameras from 1995 to 2005 before Virginia’s General Assembly got rid of them. In 2007, though, lawmakers reversed the law. Statistics from 1995 to 2005 suggest the cameras are to blame for increased accidents. In Arlington, rear-ending accidents increased 139% during the time the cameras were in place. The theory is that drivers aware of the cameras will err on the side of caution and slam on their brakes as soon as a light is yellow in order to avoid the costly fines.

The first thing drivers can do to avoid traffic camera tickets is to be aware of the cameras’ locations. Unlike with police officers, traffic cameras have no discretion. Slightly exceeding the speed limit or being just a fraction of a second too late at a traffic light could result in your receiving a ticket several days later. For cases that are more complicated, for example, if you are involved in an accident that you suspect was due to a traffic camera, it is best to consult with an attorney about your options.

If red light cameras played a role in an accident in which you were involved, contact Kelly Fisher, a Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis, & Lightfoot L.L.P to learn more about your legal options.