Public Safety Position Statements - 2011 Legislative Program


Accessibility

Support ensuring the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth by increasing accessibility.

Fairfax County supports access for people with disabilities and older adults in public and private facilities.  While significant progress has been made toward ensuring the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities in the 20 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), continued advancement is needed.  Improved accessibility in public buildings, housing, transportation and employment benefits all Virginians, by allowing people with disabilities to remain active, contributing members of their communities, while retaining their independence and proximity to family and friends. (New position.)

 

Computer Trespass

Support legislation to update current laws related to computer trespass in order to capture new technologies not covered by existing Code language. (Previously a Board initiative; bill was carried over per Senate policy on proposed criminal statutes with fiscal impacts. Included as position statement until state fiscal situation improves.)

 

Dangerous Weapons in Public Facilities

Support legislation to allow local governments to prohibit the possession of dangerous weapons in or on any facility or property owned or leased by the locality, with certain exceptions, including any person who has been issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun.  Violation of such an ordinance would be punishable as a misdemeanor. It is particularly important that the County have such authority for any facility or property owned or leased by the County serving large populations of youth under the age of 18.  Current law permits private property owners to decide whether or not to permit dangerous weapons on their property.  (Reaffirms previous position.)

 

Ignition Interlock Devices

Support legislation that would require all persons convicted of Driving While Intoxicated to use an ignition interlock device as a condition to driving for a minimum period of six months.  Current law requires the use of such a device for second and subsequent offenses of DWI and for offenses where the offender’s blood alcohol content was at least 0.15 percent.  (Reaffirms previous position.)

 

Pedestrian Safety

Support revisions to Virginia’s existing pedestrian legislation to clarify the responsibilities of drivers and pedestrians in order to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur each year.  In particular, support legislation that would require motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks at unsignalized intersections on roads where the speed is 35 mph or less and at unsignalized crosswalks in front of schools.  This issue is of special importance for pedestrians with physical or sensory disabilities, who are at particular risk of injury when crossing streets. (Reaffirms previous position.)

 

Pre-Trial Services (REGIONAL)

Oppose legislation that would place restrictions on the use of pre-trial release programs.  Attempts were made in the 2010 Session to limit those eligible for pre-trial release (with or without bond), and similar legislation may be introduced in 2011.  Local governments opposed the 2010 legislation because it would increase costs (as more defendants would be kept in jail prior to trial) without increasing public safety.  In fact, since pre-trial units provide supervision and drug testing in addition to other services, limiting or ending pre-trial programs may reduce public safety.  (New position.)

 

Teen Driving

Support legislation to make the following infractions primary offenses for drivers under the age of 18: violation of the ban on use of wireless communication devices while operating a motor vehicle; violation of curfew; violation of limits on underage passengers; and violation of the seat belt law.  These acts are currently secondary offenses, which require observations of a primary offense for a law enforcement officer to initiate enforcement action.  (Reaffirms previous position.)


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