Both city and county staff are recommending the installation of photo red cameras, Seth Rosen writes in the Progress, which could be in place in a year’s time. The General Assembly authorized localities to install the cameras during their session earlier this year. The city is permitted to add them to four intersections, the county at nine. Municipal staff haven’t made a proposal to their respective elected bodies just yet, since they’re still reviewing the available equipment.
Opponents of photo red cameras point out that VDOT’s own study shows that installing them increases the number of accidents, and that many localities don’t make any money on them at all, because the systems are outsourced. The other problem is that the $50 fine is to be paid by the owner the car; because the driver isn’t pulled over by police, though, the driver can easily challenge the ticket and claim that he wasn’t driving.
The Hook recently demonstrated that the town’s most frequently run red light has such a short green light that only one car can get through. They found a car ran that 29/Rio red every single time that the light changed. Seems to me that there’s no need for a camera — a pair of cops could sit there and tag-team light runners all day long. Heck, I’d bring ’em a glass of iced tea to thank them for their troubles.