School zone speed cameras, a longtime fixture on the Maryland landscape, are now popping up in Northern Virginia.
The City of Alexandria is joining Fairfax and Arlington counties in activating school zone speed cameras for the upcoming school year.
The Alexandria cameras will be installed near four schools:
- Francis Hammond Middle School (Seminary Road, between Kenmore Avenue and North Jordan Street)
- John Adams Elementary School and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School (North Beauregard Street, between North Highview Lane and Reading Avenue)
- George Washington Middle School (Mount Vernon Avenue, between Braddock Road and Luray Avenue)
“The city has had an active safe routes to school program for a long time,” said Alex Carroll, who manages the city of Alexandria’s Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths. “We’ve heard time and time again from parents and guardians that speed around schools is a problem and people are concerned for their children’s well-being. In many cases, it results in people not allowing their children to walk and bike to or from school.”
Carroll said the aim is to create a city where people feel comfortable walking and biking to get from place to place, especially to school.
The Virginia General Assembly cleared the way in 2020 for the use of speed cameras.
Alexandria had a pilot program in effect last spring, with speed cameras in just three locations issuing more than 3,500 warnings.
“We’re going to do another warning period starting on the first day of school (Aug. 21) that’s going to last for about a month. So if people are speeding during that time … they’re going to get warning notices in the mail, and hopefully that’s kind of a trigger for them to think, ‘Oh, maybe I need to drive a little bit safer through this school zone,'” Carroll said.
“If nothing else, to avoid getting a ticket. We don’t want people to get tickets. We want people to drive safer and not get a ticket in the first place,” she added.
The automated enforcement cameras near the four schools will begin issuing violations on Sept. 18. Violators will face $100 fines.
The City of Fairfax has installed school zone speed cameras near six schools, while Manassas City is powering up its program, planning to open a 30-day warning period for speed enforcement cameras near Round Elementary School and Metz Middle School.
In the City of Alexandria, funding has been approved to expand the speed camera program later this year to cover a few additional school zones.
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