Increasing Yellow Light Time at Fairfax Red Light Camera Intersection Results in 94 percent Drop in "Red Light Violations."
Eric Skrum, Communications Director for the National Motorists Association said, "Records from Fairfax County show that increasing the time of yellow lights significantly decreases the number of red light violations. The Virginia Department of Transportation increased the yellow time on the traffic lights at US50 and Fair Ridge Drive by 1.50 seconds on March 26, 2001. This increase in yellow time from 4.00 seconds to 5.50 seconds resulted in a 94 percent drop in citations, less than one per day, at this red light camera enforced location."
Skrum continued, "Fairfax County records show that 'events,' red light violations, captured by the camera fell from an average daily rate of 52.1 per day before the yellow time increase to just 2 per day afterwards, a reduction of 94 percent.
"Fairfax County records also show that citations being issued dropped to just 0.82 citations a day on average during the 67 days after the yellow time was increased.
"This camera was activated February 8, 2001 by Lockheed Martin under an agreement with Fairfax County. The Virginia Department of Transportation is responsible for operating these signals. The decision to install a red light camera at this intersection confirms that this intersection was considered a location of serious violations with increased potential for accidents.
"This experience should prove to any skeptic that sound engineering practices, not only work, but are preferable to exploiting motorists through the use of ticket cameras and related automated enforcement devices," Skrum concluded.
Fairfax County red light camera enforcement records were received from Fairfax County on July 9, 2001 by the National Motorists Association. Those records reflected camera enforcement data through the end of May, 2001 and were the most current and complete records available on the day of receipt (as stated by Fairfax County officials). It should also be noted that the average daily traffic in this intersection is approximately 74,000 vehicles per day.