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Red Light Cameras Return To Arlington

by ARLnow.com June 3, 2010 at 11:35 am 4,521 6 Comments

After a five year hiatus, Arlington is bringing back red light cameras at four busy county intersections.

Arlington’s previous generation of red light cameras went dark in 2005 after the Virginia General Assembly banned them statewide. The cameras were reauthorized in 2007 but stayed dormant in Arlington.

Now, the county is installing a new generation of cameras with the vaguely Bono-inspired name of ‘PhotoRED.’

The cameras will monitor eastbound Lee Highway at North Lynn Street, westbound Lee Highway at Washington Boulevard, northbound North Glebe Road at Fairfax Drive, and southbound Ft. Myer Drive at westbound Lee Highway.

The PhotoRED cameras are expected to come online on Monday, June 14. They will issue warnings for the first 30 days, police said. After that, drivers who run red lights or violate Virginia’s right turn on red law will receive this notice of violation and a $50 civil fine (like a parking ticket, it will not go on the driver’s record).

The system will cost the police department $14,900 per month, although the county will keep a portion of the fines collected. (Updated at 3:55 p.m.)

The county says that red light photo enforcement can reduce crashes at monitored intersections by roughly 40 percent.

Diagram courtesy of Arlington County Police Department.

  • Ryan

    For the visual folks out there.


    • Thanks, Ryan. I’ll add this as a link within the article as well.

  • Lou

    If the camera at Glebe and Fairfax is going to catch anybody that blocks that intersection trying to get on 66 in the morning after the left-turn arrow ends, the county will make millions.

  • charlie

    let’s get people out of the box at Fairfax/Glebe.
    And if you don’t like red light cameras, don’t run red light.

  • Mike

    Red light cameras have been studied nationally and regionally. Studies show there is actually an increase in accidents (rear-ends) at these lights rather than an increase in safety. Studies recommend a lengthening of the yellow light by 1 to 2 seconds to prevent accidents, save lives, and prevent property damage. Studies show this is more a means to increase revenue for local municipalities through the issuing of fines.

    I would much rather see the implementation of “Don’t Block the Box” in our most busy of intersections around Arlington. Grid lock is a much bigger issue in Arlington County than “red light running”…especially from Ballston to Rosslyn.

  • Rosslyn

    I also can’t say that “red light running” is an issue in Rosslyn, as Mike notes. The issue is instead gridlock and blocking the box at rush hour. As Mike notes, studies have shown that red light cameras cause an increase in rear-end accidents, with people arbitrarily accelerating to be sure to clear a line by the exact time a light changes. Red light cameras also often seem to have a short yellow cycle, with the yellow cycle being critical to safety.

    But no surprise that Arlington government would seek to find a way to inject themselves into people’s daily commutes.


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