Fauquier Co. considers installing speed cameras in school zones

Fauquier County is set to consider installing speed cameras in school zones, just over a year after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a law allowing the use of the technology to protect children.

The county’s board of supervisors on Thursday will consider an ordinance which would impose a $100 fine to the owner of the vehicle driving too fast in a school crossing zone.

If approved, the county would be the first in Northern Virginia to install the cameras in school zones.

According to the proposed ordinance, a “conspicuous sign” would need to be placed within 1,000 feet of the school crossing zone indicating that a photo speed monitoring device — a radar or LIDAR-based device — is being used.

The cameras would operate on school days, stretching from 30 minutes before school starts though 30 minutes after the end of normal hours of school operation. Enforcement also would be done during other hours in which school-related events are being held.

The owner of a vehicle would be able to challenge the summons, if he testifies in court that he wasn’t the operator at the time of the alleged infraction and provide the name and address of the person who was driving.

A summons caught by a speed camera would not become part of the driver’s record, nor be used against the driver when setting auto insurance rates, unlike a speed violation issued by a law enforcement officer who personally witnessed the offense.

A private company would pay for, install and maintain the speed cameras, and receive a portion of each fine collected.

Northam signed the law in March 2020, enabling jurisdictions to use speed devices in school zones. It went into effect July 1, 2020.

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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