Alexandria council allows speed cameras in school zones

Alexandria City Council voted Saturday to approve the installation of speed cameras in five school zones in the city of Virginia.

Alexandria City Council voted on Saturday to approve the installation of speed cameras in five school zones in the city of Northern Virginia.

The council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that provides for a civil penalty of up to $100 for driving more than 10 miles over the posted speed limit in a school zone.

The exact location of the cameras has yet to be determined after city planners work with police and school officials: “Locations will be selected through a data-driven process that takes into account the speed of vehicles, traffic volumes, number of students walking to school, equity and other factors.”

In 2020, Virginia passed a law allowing the use of speed cameras in school and work zones. Alexandria joins neighboring Arlington County and the City of Fairfax in implementing speed camera programs.

Citations generated by the automated system will need to be verified by a city police officer before being sent to the registered owner of the car.

Mailed-in camera tickets will not be considered a conviction, nor will they be placed on file that will affect insurance rates. In cases where an officer uses technology to personally write a ticket and present it to a driver, that violation would remain in the driver’s record.

As part of the program, a sign should be posted within 1,000 feet of the school zone to alert drivers that speed cameras are in use.

The car owner can dispute a ticket by filing an affidavit or by stating in court that they were not driving at the time of the violation. However, the owner should provide the name and address of the person who was driving when the camera clicked.

Fines generated by the program would be paid to the city, which says it would not rely on revenue from speed cameras, at least initially.

City officials said vehicle speed is widely recognized as one of the most important factors in the frequency and severity of traffic crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, higher vehicle speeds correspond to greater potential for loss of vehicle control, greater stopping distance required after a driver perceives danger, and an increased degree of severity. of the accident.

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