In two weeks, a for-profit company will begin mailing traffic tickets to the owners of vehicles passing through three Alexandria intersections. The private company, American Traffic Solutions, Inc., operates the traffic cameras, makes the initial decision who is guilty, mails the tickets, collects the fines and then gives the city a cut of the windfall.
This isn’t the first time Alexandria has tried to cash in on photo enforcement. Between 1998 and 2005, Alexandria’s cameras snapped more than 50,000 citations.
Make no mistake; this is all about the money. Everywhere speed cameras have been tried they have resulted in more accidents than before. But there is good news in VA at least. According to state law you really don’t have to pay the fines:
Fortunately, there is some good news for motorists who might receive a ticket in the mail after toodling through Old Town. As The Washington Times reported four years ago, state law says a private company may not simply drop a ticket in a mailbox and expect it to be considered valid service. Unless a driver receives a hand-delivered copy, the citation can be thrown away without consequence. Depriving Alexandria and its revenue-collecting partner of cash is the surest way to ensure this unsafe program disappears for good.