According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety over 130 communities across the nation have implemented speed camera initiatives and 422 communities across the nation utilize red-light cameras to enforce traffic laws and reduce reckless driving. Virginia has traditionally been slow to implement such technologies, but that may soon change if a certain piece of legislation is signed into law.
Speed cameras could soon be seen on highway work zones in Virginia, due to legislation recently passed by Virginia lawmakers. The bill, which is pending the approval of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, would permit officers to utilize speed cameras in highway work zones. However, to do so, the blue lights on the police cars must be activated and there must be signs placed at least 1,000 feet in front of the work zone indicating that speed cameras are present.
Under the legislation, if a motorist drives 12 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit in a work zone, that motorist would receive a speeding ticket in the mail. However, motorists could still be allowed to challenge the $125 fine in the ticket in court. So far, the governor has not yet indicated whether he will sign the bill.
Speed cameras and red-light cameras are not without controversy. Some call into question their accuracy, while others believe they do not let a person who commits such a traffic offense face their accuser in court. While the use of such cameras may be becoming more common, it is important that those who receive traffic tickets based on an infraction allegedly caught on one of these cameras do not have their constitutional rights infringed upon.
While traffic offenses may not seem too serious, they could still lead to significant fines and an accumulation of points on one's driver's license. If enough traffic offenses are committed, a person could even have their license to drive suspended or revoked. Thus, those in Virginia who are concerned about how this legislation will affect them if passed into law will want to seek the professional guidance needed to understand their rights.