Like most cities that operate photo enforcement programs, Falls Church, Virginia doesn’t want the public to know what’s happening. Since August, the city has been holding quiet negotiations with private companies interested in setting up a red light camera program for profit. The first and only public mention of the city’s machinations appeared in a tiny mention today in the equally tiny Falls Church News-Press. It mentioned that the city council already approved a contract with American Traffic Solutions.
Falls Church is following in the footsteps of Fairfax City which held city council deliberations on red light cameras in secret before announcing their decision in an open meeting — at 1 a.m., long after the public had departed.
Why the secrecy, you might ask? Because Falls Church has had red light cameras before, and the results are documented. The city council knows its claims of “safety” have been debunked by no less an authority than the Virginia Department of Transportation. It found in Falls Church:
- A 136% increase in rear-end collisions
- A 79% increase in injury accidents
- Overall, accidents increased 38%
If residents knew what was happening, they would be outraged. Despite the phony surveys cooked up by the ticket profiteers, politicans realize that they can only get away with the scam while the public isn’t watching. No photo enforcement program has ever survived a public referendum.
So let Falls Church know what you think. Contact information is provided after the jump. The city memo for the contract is available here: Falls Church Contract memo