FAIRFAX, Va. (DC News Now) — A new Virginia law that allows cities and counties to put speed cameras in school zones is enabling several Northern Virginia jurisdictions to do so, including some that will begin when students go back to school next week.
It received positive feedback from several people walking those streets who spoke to DC News Now, many of whom said speeding is an issue on nearby roads. One woman said speeding was a factor in a fatal crash she witnessed from her home.
But others said drivers need to be aware of the cameras for it to be effective.
The location of the cameras in Fairfax includes:
Woodson High School Zone
Frost Middle School Zone
Fairfax High School Zone
- Fairfax Boulevard (Route 29/50):
- Old Lee Highway (Route 237):
- at Country Hill Drive (northbound)
Katherine Johnson Middle School Zone
Providence Elementary School Zone
The goal is for those streets to be safer when students start school for the 2022-23 school year than it was in previous years.
“It’s very important, the safety of everyone, family around this area,” said Adel Alkhamsy, who lives near the Katherine Johnson Middle School zone. “They need to be sure their children [have] a safe environment when they cross the street.
Others were concerned about the installation and said it may be tough for drivers to make the change quickly.
“As a driver in the area [of the Woodson High School zone] it’s kind of offputting,” said Sara Remson. “Unfortunately this is a straight shot on Route 236 so it’s very easy to pick up speed.”
Some signage has been put up.
Soon-to-be sixth grader Tom Van Veen said, even though he doesn’t walk to school, it’s a good idea.
“I do see a lot of people speeding whenever I go to… the stores,” he said. “I would like for people to stop, actually.”
This comes months after an 18-year-old driving over 80 miles per hour hit and killed two students at Oakton High School.
At least one Department of Transportation study shows that still cameras targeting one spot have been shown to reduce crashes by up to 54%.
Alexandria, Virginia has set aside funding to install speeding cameras in its school zones.
The locations for the five speeding cameras have not been decided but will be discussed at a pair of meetings — first on September 26 at a Traffic & Parking Board public hearing, and then at an October 11 City Council First Legislative meeting.