The city of Fairfax recently announced that it plans to increase the number of red light cameras in the city. These three new cameras will double the number currently filming motorists in this city. Fairfax was the first city in Virginia to enact red light cameras, starting a 10 year pilot program in 1995. While this program lapsed in 2005, the Virginia Assembly reauthorized it in 2011. Now, if drivers are caught by these red light cameras they will face a $50 fine with no points assessed against the driver and generally can appeal their ticket using a Fairfax traffic violations lawyer.
Fairfax Traffic Violations Lawyer on Red Light Cameras and Safety
As a Fairfax traffic violations lawyer, it is interesting to look at the debate surrounding these cameras. The argument in favor of these cameras is that they make some of the most dangerous intersections safer. In Fairfax, the cameras will now be at the following intersections:
- Eastbound Fairfax Boulevard and Plantation Pkwy.
- Northbound Chain Bridge Road and Eaton Place
- Westbound Main Street and Pickett Road
- Eastbound Fairfax Boulevard and Fairfax Circle
- Westbound Fairfax Boulevard and Fairfax Circle
- University Boulevard and North Street
- Eastbound and Westbound Fairfax Boulevard @ Jermantown Road
- Eastbound Main Street @ Woodland Drive
- Southbound Lee Highway @ Jermantown Road
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a study that showed that violations were down at intersections that have red light cameras. Therefore, they concluded these cameras make drivers safer.
Critics point out, however, that the best way to measure safety is by measuring accidents not violations. On this front, red light cameras may be failing. It is clear that more studies are needed to ensure that these cameras actually make people safer instead of just bolstering the city's bottom line.
Red light cameras may increase accidents because they use flashing white lights to illuminate the picture taken as evidence. At night, this blinds the driver and disorients other vehicles in front and behind the driver. Attorney Yeargan has personally witnessed this problem in Fairfax City at the intersection of Jermantown Road and Fairfax Boulevard. The cameras are a nuisance and designed primarily to generate income for Fairfax City.
Drivers may also slam on their brakes to avoid running yellow lights at intersections using cameras, increasing the likelihood of rear end accidents. It is a major safety concern, and undermines the City's argument that the cameras are installed to enhance safety and protect the public.
Drivers issued these citations lose their ability to cross examine and confront any witnesses related to the operation and proper use of cameras. In the opinion of many defense lawyers, this makes red light cameras a significant Constitutional violation. Drivers issued these citations should be allowed to subpoena and question the individuals responsible for maintaining the cameras and mailing out the tickets.
If you have gotten a red light ticket or another violation, contact a Fairfax traffic violations lawyer today. The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan is available to answer your questions about these citations.