On October 2, 2019, the City of Alexandria announced that certain motorists who received speeding tickets would be entitled to refunds because the citations were based on police speedometers that were not sufficiently tested.
Eligible motorists were mailed notifications on October 2, 2019, and could request refunds by March 15, 2020.
A City supervisor first identified in October 2017 that speedometer tests on five police vehicles were not properly conducted. Following an initial internal review, the City Manager directed in January 2019 that the City’s internal auditor conduct a formal investigation. 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.
After carefully reviewing citation records, the City identified 2,169 speeding tickets -- out of 19,658 issued during the three-year period in question -- that were associated with the insufficient tests. 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 on October 1, 2019. 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 City 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.
- 10/2/19: News Release: City of Alexandria to Refund Speeding Tickets Voided Due to Insufficient Speedometer Testing
- 6/12/19: Internal Audit Report: Fleet Calibration Program
For More Information
- For questions about refund eligibility or refund requests, call 703.746.6220, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- For news media inquiries or reasonable disability accommodation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.746.3965 (Virginia Relay 711).
- For questions about Virginia driver records, contact the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.