Memo for fiscal year 2022, updated 2021-03-05

[Archived] Question # 22: Can you please provide the fiscal impact for the placement of the 5 cameras in school zones prioritized by T&ES in alignment with the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan?


Section 46.2-882.1 of the Code of Virginia allows the City to place photo speed monitoring devices in school crossing zones and highway work zones. Can you please provide the revenue impact and expenditure impact for the placement of the 5 cameras in school zones prioritized by Transportation & Environmental Services in alignment with the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan?  (Mayor Wilson)


The Alexandria Police Department (APD) is currently in the process of researching whether automated speed enforcement technology is appropriate for the City of Alexandria. APD conducted a Pilot Program to study whether this would be a feasible effort for the City and how it would affect the residents of the City. It is too early to determine the success of this project. When full findings are available, a report will be shared with City Council for consideration.  

For order of magnitude, the City’s current red light camera program costs approximately $40,000 per month to include APD staffing costs and generates approximately $136,000 per month in revenue, however the costs and potential revenue for school zones has not yet been determined. Potential costs would include the cost of the cameras themselves, contract fees for their administration, and signage and would vary depending on the level of service procured. It is worth noting that the goal of such a program would be to reduce or eliminate speeding in school zones and so the more successful the program, the less revenue it would generate. 

Photo speed monitoring devices have long been in use by Maryland and the District of Columbia (DC). In a May 2019 AAA press release, Maryland’s FY 2018 speed camera revenue was released which ranged from $1.2 million in Howard County to $15.9 million in Montgomery County. The number of speed monitoring devices that fell in school crossing zones was not identified. As of 2017, the District had 98 speed monitoring devices that rotated among 145 locations; it is not known how many of these fell in school zones and what impact they had on speed violators. A February 2020 Mid-Atlantic AAA press release noted that DC has processed over 8.2 million automatic traffic enforcement citations worth approximately $1.0 billion (not all collected) between FY 2017 – FY 2019. It should be noted that some have criticized DC and other jurisdictions as the photo speed monitoring devices are viewed more as revenue generators than traffic safety measures. If the City were to implement photo speed monitoring, it should be with the aim of improving traffic safety.

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