Red Lights – Making Them Safer?

Scott Shenk wrote an interesting article about the plague of red light running that takes place every day in the United States. There’s certainly no doubt that running red lights causes accidents, but what’s the best solution to make the intersections safer?

It’s certainly not a problem created by judicial leniency. The area judges are almost uniformly tough on traffic light violations. They of course require the Commonwealth to prove that the violation took place, but if the evidence supports a conviction, it’s difficult to get the charge reduced or dismissed.

One possible solution is red light cameras, but I’m not convinced they’re the answer. For one: people still run lights, even with cameras issuing tickets. It’s not a tool that actually stops the problem; it just theoretically minimizes the number of light violations.

But the other problem with red light cameras comes with the lack of discretion. In Virginia, the law is that you have to stop on yellow if it is not safe to continue. How can a camera tell if it’s safe to continue or not?

There’s no easy solution to red light violations. Perhaps the only good option is to have more officers on the road to monitor intersections. They can use the proper discretion about whether or not to issue a ticket. But of course, there’s the expense of having them on the road. And that’s where we have to decide what road safety is really worth to us as a society.

Photo by: fazen

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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