Traffic light signal photo-monitoring; use of system, appeals. (HB1040)

Introduced By

Del. Johnny Joannou (D-Portsmouth) with support from co-patron Del. David Ramadan (R-South Riding)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Use of photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals; appeals. Provides that operators found in violation of ordinances created to enforce photo-monitoring systems for traffic lights have a right to appeal to the circuit court and that the appeal shall be civil in nature. The bill also reduces from $50 to $25 amount of the matter in controversy necessary for an appeal of right in a civil case. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/08/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14102891D
01/08/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/16/2014Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/03/2014Assigned Courts sub: Civil Law
02/03/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (10-Y 0-N)
02/07/2014Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2014Read first time
02/10/2014Read second time
02/10/2014Committee amendments agreed to
02/10/2014Engrossed by House as amended HB1040E
02/10/2014Printed as engrossed 14102891D-E
02/11/2014Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/11/2014VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/24/2014Reported from Courts of Justice (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
02/26/2014Read third time
02/26/2014Passed Senate (38-Y 1-N)
03/03/2014Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB1040ER)
03/03/2014Signed by Speaker
03/06/2014Signed by President
04/07/2014G Vetoed by Governor
04/22/2014Placed on Calendar
04/23/2014Governor's veto overridden (78-Y 19-N)
04/23/2014VOTE: AGREE TO MOTION (78-Y 19-N)
04/23/2014Senate sustained Governor's veto (25-Y 13-N)
04/23/2014Requires 26 affirmative votes to pass in enrolled form


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 4 clips in all, totaling 34 minutes.


ACLU-VA Privacy Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports repeal of the state statute authorizing the use of photo-monitoring systems for traffic enforcement. Data available now shows that these programs, compared to extended yellow lights, do not actually make us safer. A Federal Highway Administration study showed that, although red-light cameras decrease side-impact collisions by 25 percent, they cause a 15 percent increase in the number of rear-impact crashes. There are also constitutional due process concerns about the use of this technology. Use of the cameras to record traffic infractions require you to prove that you are innocent. That is not the usual constitutional requirement. Moreover, the systems in place make it difficult for most drivers to effectively challenge the tickets in court. Sometimes these systems don’t send out tickets for weeks. The driver may not be able to remember, much less prove, where he/she was four weeks ago. There are also privacy concerns regarding the collection and use of information from these cameras for dragnet surveillance. As is the case will all of the new technologies, whether red-light cameras, drones or license plate readers, the greatest concern is not knowing how the pictures and data collected will be used beyond the initial reason given. In this case, the greatest rationale for continuing to use these cameras is the revenue streams that they are producing for localities and the possible use of the data for purposes other than traffic enforcement and safety.