Two state delegates in Virginia have drivers up in arms after they quietly tried to pass legislation that puts their citizens at risk for more car accidents.

Virginia Beach representatives have proposed a law (House Bill 2416) in the Virginia State Assembly to work around a previous mandate that gave the Virginia Department of Transportation final approval over matters concerning red light cameras.

The reason being: these two politicians are trying to get approval to lower the amount of yellow light time at red lights — a practice that has been proven to cause more car accidents but also increase revenue from tickets.

Our firm’s experienced car accident lawyers support these red light cameras when accident prevention is the goal.  Red light cameras take pictures of drivers that run red lights so that authorities can ticket offenders.  The thought behind this is that drivers will learn not to run red lights in intersections that have cameras which, in turn, would lead to fewer car accidents caused by running red lights.

In this instance, the Virginia state reps are hoping that they will be able to shorten yellow light time at red lights to increase revenue at the expense of their citizens’ safety on the roads.  The sad part for Virginians, this is not the first time shady politics have put public lives in danger on the road in favor of profit.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has cautiously approached the subject of red light cameras after its own studies in 2005 and 2007 showed that car accidents actually increased significantly at red light camera locations.  Since VDOT does not receive ticket revenue from these camera programs, lawmakers felt that they were the ideal source for final approval on the subject.  VDOT learned its lesson about shortening yellow lights almost a decade ago.

In 1999, VDOT shortened the yellow signal duration at an intersection with a red light camera by 1.5 seconds just four days after officials finalized the contract for the camera.  As a result, red light violations went up but so did car accidents.  Realizing its mistake, VDOT returned the yellow signal to 5.5 seconds a year later, and car accidents and violations dropped immediately.

Now, we know why politicians want to work around them, even though they have the power to stop adult and children’s injuries from happening due to an auto accident.

This could be very troubling news.  For our car accident lawyers, they are all for legislation that seeks to improve driver safety, but we are also completely against shady politicking where the people are misled.  Installing red light cameras has never been about profit; it has always been about saving lives.  What these two Virginia Legislators are doing is just wrong, and Virginians, the media and others need to stand up and do something about it.

We strongly believe this type of duplicitous conduct should be an issue of a political campaign that voters should remember every Election Day…and until then, be a vigilant driver and get the best auto insurance policy that you can afford.

If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you.  We look forward to providing good advice for your case.  There is no fee if no recovery.