More automated traffic enforcement could come to Arlington in the name of social justice

More automation in traffic enforcement is just one of many recommendations by a citizen group convened to study more equitable policing in Arlington County.

The Arlington Police Practices Group formed after the summer of racial reckoning and calls to root out racism in the justice system.
On Monday night, the group presented its recommendations to the Arlington County Board.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

Among the most notable, the group suggested more automatic traffic enforcement, aimed at taking the possibility of racial bias off the table by reducing the need for traffic stops.

"Having cameras basically removes the human element. It's just a machine. It clocks you going too fast or it clocks you going through an intersection too late into the light cycle," said Allison Carpenter, traffic subcommittee chair.

The idea could face hurdles in the Virginia General Assembly. Right now, speed cameras can only be placed in work or school zones. The law also limits the number of red-light cameras in a jurisdiction.

In its report, the working group also proposed traffic fines based on a sliding income scale. People who make less would pay less for violations like red light or speed cameras.

The group has also recommended increasing resources and partnerships between mental health providers that would allow police to limit responses to such calls. It also called for a citizen review board with investigative and subpoena power.

Some of the recommendations could be instituted by the county board in weeks or months, while others are more long-term in nature. They also depend upon the county's new budget, which will be discussed this week.