Photo-monitoring; systems to enforce traffic light signals. (HB255)

Introduced By

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


"Photo-red" traffic light enforcement systems. Requires that all "photo-red" systems have yellow light signal lengths of at least three seconds. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/30/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14102015D
12/30/2013Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/10/2014Assigned Transportation sub: Subcommittee #1
01/15/2014Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
01/16/2014Reported from Transportation (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2014Read first time
01/20/2014Read second time and engrossed
01/21/2014Read third time and passed House (89-Y 2-N)
01/21/2014VOTE: PASSAGE (89-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2014Constitutional reading dispensed
01/22/2014Referred to Committee on Transportation
02/12/2014Reported from Transportation with amendments (15-Y 0-N)
02/14/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N)
02/17/2014Read third time
02/17/2014Reading of amendments waived
02/17/2014Committee amendments agreed to
02/17/2014Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/17/2014Passed Senate with amendments (40-Y 0-N)
02/18/2014Placed on Calendar
02/19/2014Senate amendments agreed to by House (99-Y 0-N)
02/19/2014VOTE: ADOPTION (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2014Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB255ER)
02/21/2014Signed by Speaker
02/23/2014Signed by President
03/05/2014G Approved by Governor-Chapter 163 (effective 7/1/14)
03/05/2014G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0163)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 50 seconds.


James C. Walker writes:

Federal rules ALREADY require yellows to be at least three seconds long. Any light with less than a three second yellow already violates federal rules.

James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

Waldo Jaquith writes:

James, do you what rule that is, specifically? I'd love to see it, to find out what sort of enforcement mechanism exists for states who do not follow that rule, if any.

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.