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Alexandria getting first-ever speed cameras in five school zones early next year

The scene of a crash outside Jefferson Houston Elementary School, March 29, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria Police Department (APD) will be ready to deploy five speed cameras in schools zones around the city by early next year.

Police Chief Don Hayes and Yon Lambert, the director of the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services (T&ES), issued a memo to update the joint City Council/School Board subcommittee, which met on Monday (June 26).

“Staff have immediately mobilized to develop and implement this new program,” Hayes and Lambert wrote. “staff working group, which includes representatives from ACPS, APD, T&ES, and others, has formed to address the various aspects of such a program, including location selection, public communications, procurement, and other critical tasks. This group is working towards the goal of launching the program by early 2023.”

In May, City Council approved the $400,000 speed camera program, after a child was struck and seriously injured at an intersection just outside of Jefferson Houston Elementary School (200 block of North West Street).

Virginia code was amended in 2020 to add speed cameras in school and work zones. This is the first time Alexandria will use speed cameras, and City Manager Jim Parajon is considering lowering speed limits in residential, business and school zones from 25 miles per hour to 15 mph.

A working group made up of city staff and APD  are also putting together a program webpage, and the future location of the cameras have not yet been chosen.

“The locations will be data-driven,” said Alexandria Police Lt. Delton Goodrum told the subcommittee. “”Right now we’re pulling all this data between T&ES, APD and also ACPS (Alexandria City Public Schools.”

Staff will present the subcommittee with more details on the camera locations this fall.

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