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Legal Review: Virginia Declines to Install Speed Cameras in School Zones

By Criminal Defense Attorney Karin Riley Porter of Price Benowitz LLP

A bill in the Virginia legislature that would have installed speed cameras to take photos of vehicles traveling in excess of 12 miles per hour above the speed limit failed to advance out of committee, despite having no public opposition.

The cameras proposed are the same ones that Virginia uses for catching drivers running red lights. Pictures are generated that show the vehicle’s license plate and other information regarding the violation. The tickets are then mailed to the address associated with the license plate.

“Legislators, in discussing the bill, seemed concerned that allowing ticket enforcement through the mail would reduce the seriousness of school zone speeding violations,” said Karin Riley Porter, a Virginia Speeding Ticket Lawyer with the firm of Price Benowitz, LLP.

School zone speeding violations are treated very seriously in any jurisdiction, but in Virginia, any speeding violation can be treated one of two ways: as a standard traffic offense, or as reckless driving. The differences are substantial.

A speeding ticket that is issued as a traffic offense has a fine and only affects your driving record, which may have an impact on your insurance rates. A ticket for reckless driving, however, is considered a Class I misdemeanor, which is criminal in nature. It is not only accompanied by fines of up to $2,500, but it can result in jail time.

Unfortunately for drivers, a speeding ticket issued for reckless driving looks no different than a speeding ticket that is a traffic infraction. In some instances, the officer will write “RD” on the ticket to indicate that it is a reckless driving charge, something that drivers may not even recognize.

The issue this creates is that some drivers simply choose to pay the fine on speeding tickets. Failure to appear in court for a reckless driving ticket could result in the driver not only being fined but could also result with a criminal conviction that could impact an individual’s long-term future.

If you have been cited for speeding in Virginia, do not simply pay the fine. Contact a Virginia Speeding Ticket Attorney and allow them to review your citation in order to determine the best course of action.

If you have been cited for reckless driving, the attorney will be able to ensure that you are represented in court and argue on your behalf. Do not take the chance that the prosecutor or judge will be lenient — especially if you were ticketed in a school zone. Allow a Virginia Speeding Ticket Attorney to help.

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