Fairfax to study red light camera program

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. – A large portion of Northern Virginia has been free of red light cameras for several years. But that could soon change.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is studying the possibility of bringing red light cameras back to the county’s roads.

The county operated ten cameras before 2005. Then the General Assembly took away the county’s authority to use them.

The county did not bring the cameras back when that authority was reinstated in 2007.

But Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully) says a recent study in Arlington County by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed a sharp decline in red light-running in areas where the cameras were installed.

“The Insurance Institute study clearly shows, once again, the improvements to safety that you get from these things so I think you gotta do it,” says Frey.

Frey says there could be some budgetary constraints to consider as the cameras cost money and did not make money for the county when they were installed before.

The county does not plan to lay off any police officers in its proposed 2014 budget. But Frey says some patrols were cut back in the last few years because of budget cuts.

He says if the red light program comes back, it would be phased in.

The board of supervisors has asked county staff to look at how a new program could be set up and where the cameras might be placed.

Red light cameras are already installed at some intersections in Arlington County, and in the cities of Fairfax and Alexandria.

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