Click It or Ticket: ACPD To Step Up Traffic Enforcement

by ARLnow.com May 21, 2012 at 9:30 am 3,969 95 Comments

The Arlington County Police Department will be stepping up traffic enforcement over the next two weeks as part of the national Click It or Ticket campaign.

Thanks to grant money from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, police will be adding traffic patrols and HOV enforcement details around the county starting today. The patrols will primarily target school zones, frequent accident locations and areas identified by citizen complaints.

While the added ACPD patrols will be enforcing all traffic laws, the Click It or Ticket campaign specifically emphasizes seat belt laws, with the goal of “sav[ing] lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up.”

From a police press release:

While Virginia’s seat belt use rate increased slightly to 81.8%, up from 80.5% in 2010, there is still much work to be done. According to the DMV Highway Safety Office’s TREDS (Traffic Records Electronic Data System) in preliminary 2011 statistics, there were a total of 765 fatalities – 306 of them were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Of the total unrestrained fatalities (306), 93 or 30.39% of them were between the hours of midnight – 6:00 a.m. with 69.89% or 65 of those 93 between midnight and 3:00 a.m.

Regular seat belt use saves thousands of lives across Virginia each year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that in 2010 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 272 lives in Virginia. An additional 112 lives could be saved with 100 percent seat belt use.

While this year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization runs from May 21st – June 3rd, motorists should know that officers are out enforcing traffic laws, including seat belt laws year round.

  • Enough already

    I applaud the police in their efforts to keep the drivers and community safe

  • DeportEmAll

    In other words, be extra careful between now and June 3.

    After that, you may resume your normal driving habits.

  • Schmeff

    There are also only 10 days left in the month, so the quotas will need to be met. It’s nice of them to put out a press release though.

  • ArLater

    Whats the over/under on the amount of quota related comments this post recieves?

    • Richard Cranium

      There are a minimum of 100 quota-related comments required.

      • bb

        A quota-comment quota…

  • Corey

    Let’s just call this what it is: yet another attempt to siphon money from the productive homeowners in this county and funnel it to happy hours and bocce courts for hipsters and clarendouches. Speed traps all the way down Washington Blvd, but they magically stop at Cherrydale; hmm, I wonder why??

    Eventually this county is going to figure out that a) our kids have places to be and b) we will not have hipster culture shoved down our throats. This county is suburban, not urban, and we will not stand for more encroachment.

    • Swag

      “Eventually this county is going to figure out that a) our kids have places to be and b) we will not have hipster culture shoved down our throats. This county is suburban, not urban, and we will not stand for more encroachment.”

      Wait… what?

    • Max

      This is occurring throughout the state and/or country. I heard similar announcements in Blacksburg last weekend and Charlottesville yesterday.

    • Bob

      What makes you think these are targeted at “productive homeowners” and not hipsters? By the way, do you realize that hardly anyone in Clarendon could be classified as a hipster?? Clarendouches I’ll accept, but you seem not to understand what a hipster is.

    • ballston

      @Corey, that is the best “our kids have places to be” reference all day…

      • The Crowd

        I consider one of our greatest achievements here at the ARLnow comment board that we don’t use the “@” signs when referring to one another.

  • JohnB2

    I don’t understand why people don’t buckle up. I acknowlege it was a problem back in the 70s but I thought it had resolved by the mid-80s. Do people think it’s cool to go unbuckled? or are they just lazy?

    • Just Me

      I agree JohnB2. The people that don’t use them are inconsitrate, it’s not about them. If they get disabled because they don’t like seatbelts their family has to drop everything to care for them and the financial drain on the family. It also makes insurance cost more.

    • anya

      Lazy. And stupid as well

  • Larry

    What is needed is enforcement of traffic laws in neighborhoods, especially related to drivers running stop signs.

    • DCBuff

      No kidding. Just once I’d like to see ACPD enforce speed limits on neighborhood streets. Just once.

  • sam

    blah blah quota blah blah yada yada yada

    • abc


  • CW

    Why don’t they enforce the rules against RED LIGHT RUNNING?

    Not wearing a seat belt can get yourself killed. Running lights on Lee and Clarendon/Wilson two seconds red like I see daily can get anyone else killed.

    I think that red light running should be a criminal offense because you are basically saying “I don’t care if I kill someone” which is intent.

    • Arlington, Northside

      This is why all folks coming to the DC area need to learn what my Fairfax County Drivers Ed Teacher taught me back in the mid-’80s how you should expect things to go at a stop light:
      Red Light means three more cars
      Yellow light means speed up
      Green light means wait until three more cars pass in front of you before going unless you can see far up the street that the path is clear, then hammer it.

      • JamesE

        I swear every other driver treats a green light like a drag race. 9 out of 10 times the car next to me floors it when the light turns green, no graceful smooth acceleration, just lays down the hammer.

        • commuter

          Please do likewise. The people behind you want to make the green light and hopefully the ones after that. Doing a slow-crawl on green holds everyone up. Not saying you should peel out and burn rubber, but definitely put some foot into it.

          • JamesE

            Flooring your car at the green isn’t going to help anyone behind you. Especially when the next light 100 feet away is red

          • SomeGuy

            Sure it will. It might open up a gap for them to change lanes and get past you so they don’t have to wait for you AGAIN to crawl away at the next red.

          • JamesE

            I never said I crawled at reds, you do not need to floor it you are not drag racing nor impressing anyone in your 4000 lb sedan.

          • Arlington, Northside

            What Commuter and Someguy said. Too many folks want to enforce the law themselves with their driving.

            I find it interesting when I am stuck behind a driver that slams on their brakes for every yellow on Washington Blvd, but slams on the gas as soon as they hit a side street going into a neighborhood.

          • JamesE

            Not flooring your car at the light is enforcing traffic? Good to know from now on I will do a burnout every time, since that will actually cause my car not to move forward at all and just stay in place, but at least I will not be enforcing the law.

          • Arlington, Northside

            If they only accelerate quickly to or just over the speed limit, what difference does it make to you? The basic calculus shows that it can only help the driver behind them, and only hurts their mileage.

          • JamesE

            It’s not helping the other driver behind them at all when they floor it because they are not moving anywhere when there is a series of reds. You are not getting past the cars in the other lane on roads like fairfax or wilson if the car in front of you guns it at the light only to stop immediately at the next red. I am not talking about quick acceleration nor am I talking about driving at a crawl, I am talking about people literally slamming down the accelerator as if they are about to run a 1/4 mile.

          • SomeGuy

            JamesE, I stand by my opinion that if another driver’s rapid acceleration enables me to find enough of a gap to pass your vehicle in particular, it is helping me.

          • JamesE

            I don’t drive that slow so good luck!

          • SomeGuy

            It’s on, brah.

        • JohnB2

          I’ll gun it at a green light sometimes just to feel the thrill of acceleration (up to the speed limit). Obviously, I check for crossing traffic and pedestrians first.

          • DCBuff

            Is this the website for the Arlington Co. Drag Racers?

      • CW

        @Northside it is good advice to expect others to drive like that and expect them to be running red lights. Never go on green without visually checking first. However that does not make red right running acceptable.

        Fairfax is also a much more car-centric area where the threat to pedestrians and cyclists is not as high.

        • Arlington, Northside

          Arlington in the Mid-’80s was more car centric then Fairfax was at the time, when Metro was just about to open and the R-B corridor was a mess from Metro construction, delapidated buildings and redevelopment, and still had a much higher concentration of traffic lights. Drivers need to be aware of how others are likely to behave in traffic and be ready to deal with it. When tourists and the newly relocated sit through entire green cycles trying to figure out where to turn at the corner of Washington and WIlson, running the just turned red can’t not be fully faulted.

          • Corey

            “running the just turned red can’t not be fully faulted”

            Yes. Yes, it can. Don’t run red lights. It’s pretty simple.

          • Arlington, Northside

            That attitude is one of the cause of our gridlock. “Oh no, I am blocking this street, and the light is red, I better just freeze up and not move.”

          • Corey

            No, it really isn’t. Don’t run red lights. It’s one of the rare things in life that’s completely unambiguous. If the light is red, stop your car. “Gridlock” is not a reason to run red lights.

          • WeiQiang

            If ‘gridlock’ is the concern, I’m thinking that the reason one might sit in the intersection is that traffic on the far side is backed up almost in to the intersection. Entering an intersection when there’s a reasonable likelihood that you won’t be able to get through it out the far side seems less than brilliant. I understand that sometimes a driver might not realize that traffic on the far side is stacked up and not moving. Far more often, I just see folks running the red light or deciding to jam as far as they can into the intersection on the yellow, in the process setting themselves up to block crossing traffic. This is what creates gridlock. A little patience, consideration, and awareness of what’s going on would reduce the “need” to run the light.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Talking about the fool half way in the intersection, see Washington and Wilson Blvds during any light cycle 7am-10am or 4:30pm-8pm for immediate example.

          • CW

            You’re confounding a lot of issues.

            1) Assuming everyone else on the road is out to kill you is a good idea; that’s basically the idea of defensive driving.

            2) Yes, newcomers get confused.

            3) No, that doesn’t give you the right to break the law.

            4) I was not referring to people crawling through the box because a car with NJ plates sat there before them. I’m talking about the folks on Lee who wind up and blow a light at 60 mph.

          • John

            Metro in N Arlington opened in 1979, not in the mid-80s. Development, especially in Ballston, was well underway by the mid-80s. By the late 80s, Va Square was redeveloped.

          • DCBuff

            John–agree with you all the way to the last point. VaSq was not redeveloped until the mid-late 90s. Lived at Pollard Gardens, which was torn down in 1998. The old Vietnamese restaurant shaped like a ship went a little earlier.

          • John

            The Va Square Shopping Center was demolished in 87 or 88. The new Giant opened in 88 or 89. The original FDIC building opened around that same time.

            You’re right about Pollard Gardens.

      • Driver

        I wish I would have known this years ago. Got T-boned at a light. Flipped our pickup on its side.

        Guy hit us right on the drivers door! And he said he didn’t see us.

        Before we went through the light, we actually paused for about 30 seconds after the light turned to wait for the runners. We must have not waited until the third car went through.

    • HP2000

      Dear Arlington Law Enforcement:

      If you would like to meet your non-quotas this month or any month, just sit at the intersection of S Glebe Rd and Shrington Rd and watch the northbound traffic on Glebe run that light every time. Like fish in a barrel.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Another light that needs to be reworked.

      • JohnB2

        Another good one is turning left (south) onto Glebe from westbound Fairfax in Ballston. The light is rediculously short and the person at the head of the line often doesn’t move immediately once it turns green, so a good 3 cars will run this light every time.

  • novasteve

    Wow it’s nice to know there’s no crime taking place in Arlington, I guess i imagined all of those sexual assaults posted on here. I’m Glad seatbelts are taking a priority over sexcrimes.

    Great job arlington! I hope you get the revenues you are looking for. Maybe if you taxed sexual assaulters you’d show more interest in preventing that?

    • Arlington, Northside

      Amazingly, ACPD officers are taught to walk and chew gum at the same time in the academy.

      • CW

        From my experience, the majority of them are also taught to drive and type on their laptops at the same time as well.

        • Common Cents

          Maybe that’s how they’re running tags and stopping people that are wanted for crimes, such as… I don’t know, violent sex crimes. If Suzy Rottencrotch can drive, smoke a cigarette, blast music, and update her Facebook all while driving (which I see all the time), I’m confident our cops can do two things at once.

          • CW

            Never seen them stop anyone after looking up from their computers, but I do see them sitting alone in the middle of the road, still typing away, once the light has turned green and everyone else has driven on, at least a few times per week.

    • Josh S


      Oh, bravo! That’s got the week off to a roaring start!!

      Gotta love the George Orwell references on a Monday morning.

    • cranky crankypants

      Did you know that it takes about 100 hours of officer time to investigate serious crashes, including court time if there is a prosecution involved? Did you know that most years, we have more motor vehicle fatalities than homicides in Arlington? If they can cut the amount of time spent investigating by judicious application of prevention, they will save us money.

      Now get off my lawn.

  • Bob

    is this a joke? I have lived in Arlington my entire life. Only once have I ever seen a car blatantly run a red light in a manner that placed others at risk. Sneaking through a just turned red occurs either 1) before the other light turns green or 2) before the other cars have even had a chance to process that the light turned green.

    • Quoth the Raven

      I see – so “sneaking” through a “just turned red” is OK? Just curious, but what’s the time limit on “just turned”? 2 seconds? 3? Or is it up to you to judge for yourself?

      • nom de guerre

        I propose the time limit should be less than or equal to the time it takes an unladen swallow to travel the one block from the Water Pollution Control Plant to the Harris Teeter.

        • HighViewPunk

          What do you mean? African or European?

          • Bridge Troll

            What? I don’t know that . . .

          • TCE

            … and now for something… completely different…

        • Josh S

          Man, once you latch on to something, you never let it go, do you?

      • Ballston Resident

        When you are in a 25mph zone, how many mile-per-hour over 25 do you feel comfortable going before you slow it down?

        • Arlington, Northside

          Totally different situation. 25 mph in a school zone or residential area is set there due to the unexpected nature of life in those areas and the expected proliferation of life. 25mph is the speed where a vehicle can still be expected to make an almost instantanious stop or at a minimum slow to a speed which will cause minimal injury. On the other hand, anyone and everyone at an intersection can reasonably expect the same situation. The yellow light will change to red two to three seconds before the red light changes to green. Pedestrians waiting to cross the street are expected to look both ways before starting across and not fully depend on the lights.

          • Ballston Resident

            That was the point of my example, to illustrate that their are different situations and different answers to when you can sneak through a red. A red light at Glebe and Wilson is completely different than a red light at Williamsburg and Harrison.

          • Arlington, Northside


        • SomeGuy

          Depends on whether cops are present.

          • Josh S

            Weather cops?

      • Arlington, Northside

        You know what, if the officer sees that the red light runner almost hit someone in those two seconds, ticket them. If there was no problem to be seen, let it go. It is using common sense law enforcement.

        • CW

          Do you have the same stance on DUI?

    • hour eyes

      Bob, it’s time for you to make an appointment

    • Arlington, Northside

      Statistically, very true. Most deadly red light running incidents happen in the middle of the red light cycle, not in the moments after the change. Red light cameras are a revenue source, not a safety device, regardless of how the makers of the things try and sell them to the public.

      • JimPB

        Arlington, Northside — Please: Citations to rigorous designed and carefully conducted studies in peer reviewed scientific journals relevant to your position.

  • novasteve

    If I got $5 for every Prius I see that doesn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign, I’d could retire.

    • biddlebaddlebum

      why Prius pray tell? how much per BMW? per Lexus? Per Jetta?

      • Arlington, Northside

        Because hypermileing Hybrid drivers do not like to touch MPG stealing friction brakes.

    • Elmer

      Some drivers think STOP sign stands for “Squeal Tires On Pavement”.
      Then there are those who apparently don’t know their left from their right as in making RIGHT turns on a red light.at intersections.
      Lastly, we have those with a heavy foot and a light mind a/k/a speeders.

      • Elmer

        Woops! Hoist by my own petard!
        That should be “…as in making LEFT turns on a red light at intersections”.

        • Petard Watcher

          You have a heck of an petard !!

      • WantonTaco

        I have an aunt that thought that STOP “ALL WAY” meant you needed to come to stop your car “all the way down to zero”… =\

  • Whitney Wilson

    Does the law require wearing seat belts in the back seat of a car?

    • Arlington, Northside

      “Virginia law requires seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers 18 years of age and older, and ALL passengers younger than 18.”

      • Whitney Wilson

        Thank you

    • nom de guerre

      Only for children-“Children age 8 through age 17 (until age 18) must be belted correctly in vehicle safety belts, in vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1968. Exemptions are taxicabs, school buses, executive sedans and limousines.”

      • Arlington, Northside

        Makes it sound like those under 8 can just play around in back, when in fact they are required to be secured in child seats or booster seats.

        • Driver

          If more kids were secured in the back seat(s) maybe the driver wouldn’t be as distracted. I’ve seen too many minivans where the driver is trying to control the kids in the back seat when she/he was driving, and the minivan is barely under control.

          • Arlington, Northside

            Every child regardless of where they are sitting MUST be secured to their seat in a child seat/booster or with a seat belt until their 18th Birthday.

  • WantonTaco

    Ok So what app is everyone using to flag these. Waze or Trapster????/

    i prefer trapster but waze seems to be the hipster way…

  • secondary offense

    Isn’t the seat belt violation a secondary offense in VA?

    • Arlington, Northside

      Still a secondary offense in the Commonwealth, primary offense in Maryland and the District.

  • Ashton Heights

    ACPD has had campaigns to catch people not crossing speed bumps correctly, and not wearing seat belts. Would be nice to have a campaign to get people who don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

    • Dan

      “ACPD has had campaigns to catch people not crossing speed bumps ”

      Seriously ??

      I hadn’t heard about that.


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