Making creative use of scientific reports to promote a political or commercial agenda is nothing new. The famous hockey-stick graph found in the United Nations report on global warming turned out to be based on manipulated data, as exposed in the Climategate e-mails. Just last month, the British Medical Journal published "How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money," a report ripping apart the supposedly definitive 1998 study linking autism to vaccine use.
The blinding roadside flashes familiar to motorists in Maryland and the District will return to Northern Virginia in the new year. A private company completed the installation of red-light cameras last week at two Falls Church intersections: Broad and Cherry streets and Broad Street and Annandale Road. The Arizona-based firm American Traffic Solutions (ATS) will use the devices to issue warning notices until Jan. 18, when it will begin mailing out actual citations. Falls Church officials say this program is about safety; don't believe the propaganda.
The Federal Highway Administration "had nothing to do with" this year's National Stop on Red Week campaign, according to an agency spokesman who explained that, "We had been involved a few years back - a long time ago, maybe 10 years, but not this year." Instead, support came primarily from the entities that profit from robotic ticketing cameras.
Northern Virginia's streets are set to become more dangerous as a new law takes effect enhancing the profitability of red-light-camera schemes. The robotic ticket machines are already flashing in Arlington and Alexandria, but Arlington next month will become the first northern jurisdiction to issue tickets. Based on the program's dismal results from 1999 to 2005, there will be more people, not fewer, in area hospitals and more cars in body shops.