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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo Supports Photo Speed Enforcement in High-Risk Intersections

SB 336 (Roem) and HB 521 (Laufer) focus on the ability for localities to expand the use of photo speed monitoring within their jurisdiction but take different approaches in enabling the use of this public safety tool.

SB 336 would permit a state or local law enforcement agency to place and operate a photo speed monitoring device at a “high-risk intersection” segment located within the locality.  A “high-risk intersection” is defined in the bill as, “… any highway or portion thereof that is part of or adjacent to an intersection identified in the manner provided in this section as one in which a traffic fatality has occurred since January 1, 2014.”  As the definition states, before operation of the photo speed camera, the state or local law enforcement agency must certify that a traffic fatality occurred in the “high risk intersection” looking to add photo speed enforcement, since January 1, 2014.

HB 521 would allow any locality to authorize, by ordinance, its local law enforcement agency to place and operate photo speed monitoring devices on “locality-designated highway segments.”  The bill defines a “locality-designated highway segment,” as any highway or portion thereof designated in a local ordinance where photo speed monitoring devices may be placed and operated.  HB 521 lays out the qualifications that need to be met when localities move toward adopting such an ordinance and are as follows:

  • The highway in question has a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or greater;
  • The ordinance identifies the locality-designated speeding offense to be enforced by the photo speed monitoring device;
  • Speeding, crash, or fatality data supports the need for stronger enforcement against speeding;
  • In counties and towns whose roads are subject to the control and jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, the locality-designated highway segment is in the secondary state highway system or is designated as a Virginia byway.

SB 336 and HB 521 are well tailored to localities and increase the ability for local governments to respond to constituent concerns regarding safety on local roadways.  VACo is thankful to Senator Roem and Delegate Laufer as well as their respective staffs for bringing these bills forward. VACo supports SB 336 and HB 521 as a public safety tool and looks forward to speaking in favor of the bills when heard.

VACo Contact:  James Hutzler

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