Slowing down drivers and improving safety are the objectives of a new pilot program that will see photo speed monitoring devices (speed cameras) installed in nine school zones and one construction zone in Fairfax County in early 2023.

Following a public hearing at their Tuesday, Dec. 6, meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to move ahead with the pilot, amending the county code to include a section on photo speed monitoring devices.

Nearly 95% of drivers in the school zone at Springfield’s Irving Middle School and more than 40% of drivers in the school zone at Bonnie Brae Elementary School were traveling 10 mph or more above the speed limit during a morning drive sample period last year.

In the five school zones surveyed, hundreds and sometimes thousands of drivers exceeded the speed limit by more than 10 mph during the sample period.

At a public safety committee meeting in October, board members emphasized that the goal of the program is to change behavior and make the roads safer.

“These cameras will help to protect pedestrians, especially around some of our most congested and vulnerable locations. We do not want revenue from this program. Instead, we are looking forward to seeing how it enhances safety in Fairfax County.”

Speed camera locations are identified with signage, per state code, placed within 1,000 feet of each camera. The locations would also be posted on the county’s website. “We’re not trying to trap people,” said Captain Alan Hanson, commander of the Fairfax County Police Department Traffic Division.

Studies indicate that speed camera enforcement is effective in improving safety —reducing speeding, accidents and injuries.