Alexandria officials announced Wednesday that the city refund 2,169 speeding tickets issued over the last three years because the citations were based on police speedometers that were not sufficiently tested.
Eligible motorists were mailed notifications Wednesday, and may request refunds at alexandriava.gov/SpeedingTickets by March 15, according to a news release.
A city supervisor first identified in 2017 that speedometer tests on five police vehicles were not properly conducted. Following an initial internal review, the city manager called for a formal investigation by the city’s internal auditor.
The inquiries identified concerns about certain speedometer tests conducted between March 2016 and May 2019. Some vehicles had not been tested frequently enough and some service technicians applied inconsistent test standards. The city voluntarily initiated a process to void these tickets because it may not be able to sufficiently defend the tickets if challenged in court, the release noted.
“We recognize the burden placed on those affected, and we have taken significant proactive steps to restore public confidence and prevent future errors,” City Manager Mark Jinks said. “Our community and our police officers should be able to expect that speeding tickets are based on properly tested equipment, and we sincerely regret that the city did not meet that expectation in certain cases.”
The city identified the speeding tickets impacted out of a total of 19,658 issued during a three-year period. The city asked the commonwealth’s attorney to request that the Alexandria General District Court vacate the resulting convictions and dismiss the cases, which the court did Tuesday, the release noted. The city will refund any fines or court costs paid by motorists who received citations associated with the insufficient tests.
At the city’s request, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is working to reverse adverse actions resulting from the original convictions, including demerit points and driving record notations.
The city has implemented additional recommendations of the internal auditor, including improved testing protocols, enhanced staff training, better communication between departments and increased supervision and monitoring of the testing process. Although the auditor did not find that any police officers were aware the speedometers in their vehicles had not been adequately tested, a copy of the current speedometer test record will now be maintained in police cruisers for added assurance and documentation. In addition, all speedometer test records now undergo a secondary review by the police department.
For more information or to request a refund, visit alexandriava.gov/SpeedingTickets. Motorists with questions about eligibility or refunds may call 703-746-6220, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.