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Broken traffic camera cuts red light runners some slack

Thursday - 3/1/2012, 7:08am  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Red light runners on one street in Falls Church managed to get a break for about a month because of a prominent camera that was on the fritz.

The camera, located near eastbound West Broad Street at West Annandale Road in the Falls Church area, wasn't detecting cars from the end of October to the end of November. Because it couldn't "see" cars, it also couldn't see violations.

When the number of citations from the camera dropped from 217 in October to just eight in November, police had a hunch something wasn't right.

"They went to that intersection and observed the detector wasn't working," says Susan Finarelli, communications director for the City of Falls Church. "They placed a call to the vendor to get it repaired."

Because the camera wasn't sending out any fines, drivers shouldn't be worried about false tickets showing up in their mailboxes.

The camera has since been fixed. In December, tickets generated by the camera went back up to 105.

Falls Church started the red-light camera program at the end of 2010. To see a list of cameras and the tickets they have generated, see the Falls Church Focus on Safety report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)