Cost of speeding tickets could soon jump in Arlington

Soon speeding on some residential streets in Arlington County could cost drivers an extra $200.

“If we’re going to make it safe for people, we need to just slow everybody down a little bit. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and this is supposed to help,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “If you’re worried about the fine, obey the law and don’t speed.”

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Here’s the story: in an effort to cut down on speeding in residential areas, county board members are considering what would be called “$200 Additional Speeding Fine Zones.” So if a driver gets a speeding ticket for $50, they’d now be on the hook for $250. Officials said community members came up with the idea after several accidents involving pedestrians.

While streets would have to meet certain qualifications to get the designation, it could potentially apply to dozens of them within the first year, according to Garvey.

Reviews among drivers were mixed.

“That’s a hefty fine but if it keeps people from speeding it may be what they have to do because in the neighborhoods people fly in the streets and don’t stop at stop signs,” Catherine Austin said.

“If we find that it’s actually working and really reducing the kind of behavior and speeding, then it’s gonna be worth it. But as often is the case, if they set it up so that it turns into sort of a trap situation that’s really only working to generate more income and not actually improving the safety of the communities, then I think it’s gonna require some re-evaluation,” Stacey Knobler added.

The county board plans to vote on the measure on Tuesday.