Traffic group cites Virginia Beach for more ‘outrageous abuses’


By Kenric Ward | Virginia Bureau

RICHMOND, Va. — A road-safety group is taking another run at what it calls “outrageous abuses” at the city of Virginia Beach‘s camera-enforced intersections.

The National Motorists Association last year called attention to the city’s shortened yellow-light intervals, which were causing a spate of rear-end crashes.

In the wake of Watchdog‘s reports, the commonwealth’s largest city lengthened those yellow lights.

Now NMA is accusing Virginia Beach of running “right-turn traps” at photo-enforced intersections.

“Red right-turn signals are being displayed during phases of the signal cycle when flashing yellow right-arrow and green right-arrow signals should be displayed,” the NMA’s Joe Bahen wrote to state Delegate Richard Anderson, R-Woodbridge, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

“Even during phases when red signals are needed, yellow intervals are so short that they defy the laws of basic physics,” Bahen said.

“These outrageous abuses are causing drivers to slam on brakes, resulting in serious crashes,” he concluded.

To correct the situation, NMA is urging passage of House Bill 116 to “reinforce the original intent of the 2007 red-light camera law.” It requires modern signals and adequate yellow times for turn lanes.

Virginia Beach officials did not immediately respond to Watchdog’s request for response.

HB 116, sponsored by Delegate Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, has been assigned to the transportation subcommittee for review.

Kenric Ward is Virginia Bureau Chief. Contact him at or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward

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