The 2021 Candidate Guide from Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County is now out, including responses from Theo on issues ranging from bike trails, transit, safe streets with Vision Zero, and how best to enforce traffic violations.

A highlight of my positions: Do you support [red light camera] approaches to automating enforcement of traffic laws on our streets to improve safety and help prevent unnecessary police-resident encounters?

It’s sad, but true: the best way to improve the accuracy of traffic enforcement and reduce potentially dangerous encounters (for drivers and police) is to automate the process with intelligent camera systems … However, I wish I could say that traffic cameras were without consequences, but they are not. If automated camera systems are implemented it is critical that they remain strictly for automated traffic enforcement and never enabled with facial recognition capabilities, storage or transmission of video outside of individual incidents, or used for general surveillance of vehicles or people. The system would have to remain as a hardened network isolated from outside hackers and other government agencies (especially federal) that would assuredly misuse it for general surveillance. In short, it would be costly and cumbersome to properly implement.

Find my (and the other candidates’) responses at the SusMo website: