If you've received a speeding ticket from the City of Alexandria in the past three years, you may be eligible for a refund.
With all the traffic in Alexandria, you might think it’s nearly impossible to speed. However, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to have gotten a speeding ticket in the city within the last three years, you may eligible for a refund.
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Alexandria officials announced that the City will refund 2,169 speeding tickets that were issued between March 2016 and May 2019—about 11 percent of the 19,658 speeding tickets issued within the three-year period. This amounts to about one in every 10 speeding tickets written during the period and as much as $330,599.
Why Is the City Giving Us a Refund?
Back in October 2017, a city supervisor found that speedometer tests on about five police cars in the city of Alexandria were not properly conducted after witnessing a technician improperly conducting checks. This sparked an internal review by the city department, which ultimately led to a formal investigation in January 2019. According to an internal report, the investigation identified further problems, including situations where police speedometers were not checked every six months, which is required by Virginia state law, and cases where checks were completed in a “suspiciously short” period of time. The City therefore decided to void any tickets that resulted from these improperly checked speedometers because they wouldn’t hold up if challenged in court.
City Manager Mark Jinks said, “We recognize the burden placed on those affected, and we have taken proactive steps to restore public confidence and prevent future errors. 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 has provided additional recommendations to prevent this from happening again. This includes improved testing protocols, boosted staff training, better communication between city departments, and increased supervision during the entire process. Although the report found that the police were not aware of the improperly checked speedometers, copies of current speedometer test results will also be maintained in police cruisers, and all test records will go through a second review by the Alexandria City Police Department.
What Is the City Refunding?
The City of Alexandria is reversing the speeding citation for every eligible driver. On October 1, 2019, the City asked the Alexandria General District Court to drop any resulting convictions from eligible speeding violations and dismissed the cases. The City is also refunding any fines drivers paid due to the tickets and any court fees that resulted from the original conviction. In addition, the city has also reached out to the Department of Motor Vehicles to erase any negative actions that resulted from the tickets, including demerit points and driving record citations.
Am I Eligible?
Officials scoured through citation records and identified drivers who were issued tickets by officers that used the vehicles with faulty speedometers—about half of these drivers had addresses outside of Alexandria. If your ticket was voided, you will receive a notification in the mail regarding your status. Eligible drivers will then have to request their refund online at alexandriava.gov/SpeedingTickets by March 15, 2020.
If you have any questions about your refund eligibility or about the refund process, you can call 703-746-6220 anytime from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekdays.