Alexandria issuing thousands of refunds after red-light camera programming error

Alexandria, Virginia, is dismissing thousands of red-light camera tickets and issuing refunds after the discovery of a programming glitch over a nearly four-year period, the city announced in a news release Thursday.

The city said a comprehensive review turned up a programming error in the automated red-light camera program that led to 4,709 citations being erroneously issued between Jan. 26, 2016, and Oct. 4, 2019.

In all, $187,673 in fines was collected.

The city said the total number of erroneous citations accounted for less than half a percent of all citations issued during the same period.

The review related specifically to the red-light camera at Duke and South Walker Streets near Landmark Mall, which was erroneously issuing tickets to drivers within the half-second amnesty period, according to the review.

The amnesty period is required by Virginia law and means citations can’t be issued until a light turns red and a half-second has passed.

The city said the error was discovered by Redflex, the private company that operated the city’s automated red-light cameras.

Going forward, the city said it would conduct monthly and quarterly operational audits to make sure there are no programming errors in the future.

There are a total of six red-light cameras at four intersections in Alexandria.

The city said customers who were affected by the error and paid their fine will be mailed a letter with information on how to process their refund.

For more information, drivers should contact the photo enforcement customer service call center at 877-847-2338, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and follow the prompts. Before calling, drivers should have their citation number or the vehicle’s license plate information at the time of the citation.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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