Speed camera enforcement and higher speed limit near two Manassas schools get ‘green light’

Keeping traffic speeds down near schools is always a challenge, so it’s rare for speed limits to rise in school zones, but city officials in Manassas, Virginia, trust new enforcement cameras will discourage drivers from speeding.

The Manassas City Council unanimously approved raising the speed limit near two schools Monday in conjunction with plans to install speed cameras, which became legal in Virginia school and work zones back in 2020.

Currently, the speed limit is 15 miles per hour during school hours on Wellington Road, near Metz Middle School and Hastings Drive, near Round Elementary — the only two schools where the speed limit dips below 25 miles per hour.

Manassas Police Chief Doug Keen and Lance Kilby, the city’s engineering director, have supported raising the speed limit to 25 mph based on the road design, nearby stop signs, area traffic lights and crash data.

“Even if we made it 10 miles per hour, if we’re not there to regulate it, there’s nothing to stop anyone from speeding,” Keen told the city council. “Our desire for this photo enforcement is consistent speed, with consistent enforcement, to get compliance from the people going through there.”

Kilby suggested that with the higher speeds, the city might want to increase the size of the school zone and its signage.

Keen said once the enforcement cameras are installed, police would issue warnings, rather than tickets, for the first 30 days.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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