Toss Your Red Light Camera Ticket

July 1, 2009

The Washington Times has exposed the dirty little secret of the red light camera industry in Virginia. Mailed tickets can be ignored.

As The Washington Times reported four years ago, state law says a private company may not simply drop a ticket in a mailbox and expect it to be considered valid service. Unless a driver receives a hand-delivered copy, the citation can be thrown away without consequence. Depriving Alexandria and its revenue-collecting partner of cash is the surest way to ensure this unsafe program disappears for good.

The Times, of course, recommends this drastic course of action for a good reason. Accidents skyrocketed in Washington, DC and Virginia wherever the cameras have been used. In 2005, The Washington Post proved that accidents doubled at monitored intersections in the District. In 2007, VDOT proved injuries and overall accidents likewise increased in the Commonwealth as a whole, and Alexandria in particular.

The Times further nails the city for trying to pull another yellow light scam. A camera on South Patrick & Gibbon has a 4 second yellow, but just one block later at South Patrick & Franklin the yellow is just 3.5 seconds. Same road, same speed limit, but with the shortened yellow you’re much more likely to be zapped by the camera at Franklin. Given these facts, it’s obviously all about the money for Alexandria, not safety.

Read the whole “Toss Your Ticket” editorial here.

Given these facts, it’s obviously all about the money for Alexandria, not safety.