Traffic-Light Cam Returning to Falls Church?

Better slow that car down, leadfoot.  Remember those traffic-light cameras that used to be on Broad Street, one at Broad and Annandale, and one at Broad and Birch?  Looks like they’re coming back.  Last night the Falls Church City Council agreed to the first reading of an ordinance to reinstate them.  (Not necessarily on Broad Street, mind you.) 

Councilman David Snyder, speaking in favor of their installation, stated that cameras are a critical safety measure, that they help prevent accidents, and that they allow law enforcement officers to focus on more important activities. 

An engineering safety analysis must be performed at an intersection before a camera is activated.  Under Virginia Code, the maximum fine for a violation will be $50.  

The vote to approve the first reading was 6-0.  Vice Mayor Hal Lippman did not attend Monday night’s session.

A public hearing and second reading is scheduled for February 9.  The motion to approve the ordinance:

http://www.fallschurchva.gov/Content/Government/Council/Meetings/2009/January26/PhotoRed012909.pdf

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January 27, 2009 

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4 Responses to “Traffic-Light Cam Returning to Falls Church?”

  1. Winston Smith on January 30th, 2009 11:23 am

    Long overdue. Almost every time I cross Broad at Annadale I see a car (or cars) run the light. I don’t see the cameras as threatening anyone’s freedom. It’s more a matter of reminding people of their responsibility to observe the law.

  2. LFS on February 3rd, 2009 5:31 am

    Just another way to soak the citizens. Studies have proven that red light cameras do not reduce traffic accidents.

  3. Winston Smith on February 4th, 2009 2:07 pm

    I’m aware that some studies indicate cameras do not reduce accidents. In the short term they may not, but I believe gradually they will as more people get the message that while a green light means “go”, yellow does not mean “go faster” and that red doesn’t mean “proceed if it looks clear.”

    Two years ago I was going to turn left at Broad and Virginia but I had to wait for a car to come through the intersection before I could attempt to turn. I’d just taken my foot off the brake when a car ran the light, a good 4 or 5 seconds after it had changed. We would have collided had I been a little hasty.

    As i noted above, I seldom cross at Broad and Annandale without someone running the red. I occasionally see a car run both that light and the one at Broad and Virginia. Light-running also is common on Washington Street, especially at Marshall where the cars generally are moving much faster than on Broad.

    I’m sure everyone who drives runs a light occasionally but many people do it routinely and clearly are indifferent to the rules of the road. They also are sending a message and it’s not a good one.

    Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. Those who are continuously irresponsible in this regard threaten the freedom and safety of others.

  4. LFS on February 9th, 2009 3:12 pm

    And too many jurisdictions have been caught shortening their yellow light times to ramp up their red-light camera revenues. Unless Falls Church is willing to submit to independent audits of their cameras and traffic lights, this seems to be nothing more than another attempt to squeeze cash out of citizens for a city that is already facing a budget problem.

    Crossing Broad Street at almost any point in Falls Church is dangerous. While much of the city does seem to be cyclist friendly, it is divided by a pedestrian and cyclist chasm that is Route 7.

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