Press Club

Poll: More Traffic Enforcement Cameras in Arlington?

Across the country, vehicular fatalities are on the rise.

According to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2020 had the highest number of crash fatalities in more than a decade, despite a 13% drop in overall miles driven.

“While Americans drove less in 2020 due to the pandemic, NHTSA’s early estimates show that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes — the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007,” the agency revealed last week. “This represents an increase of about 7.2 percent as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019.”

Arlington has not seen the same level of fatal crashes, particularly those involving pedestrians, as neighboring D.C. But county leaders are still focused on reducing serious crashes via a new Vision Zero Action Plan approved by the Arlington County Board last month.

One way to get drivers to slow down is more active police enforcement — something that more than 80% of ARLnow poll respondents supported in 2016. But that’s a tough proposition with police departments struggling to recruit new officers and ACPD focused on more pressing criminal matters.

Another possible solution: more traffic enforcement cameras. They’re seen as generally effective, without the cost, safety and equity concerns that come with police officers pulling over motorists.

County officials have been asking the state for the authority to place more red light and speed cameras around Arlington. In a partial victory, state lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam passed a law last year that allows speed cameras at school crossings, something Arlington has yet to take advantage of.

Putting aside what the county can do within the bounds of state law at the moment, do you — in general — support placing more red light and speed enforcement cameras around Arlington?

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