Final (for now) Disposition of Virginia SB 1521 – a speed camera bill

On March 27th, Gov. Northam returned the speed camera bill SB 1521 unsigned to the legislature with recommendations:

  • The provisions of the act shall not become effective unless reenacted by the 2020 Session of the General Assembly
  • The Secretary of  Public Safety and Homeland Security, in consultation with the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, shall review the proposed use of handheld photo speed monitoring devices and consider legal and constitutional implications of dedicating civil penalties to any fund other than the Literary Fund. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall report the results of such review to the Chairmen of the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice, the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committee for Courts of Justice, and the House Committee on Appropriations by November 1, 2019.

The legislature agreed to the changes and we have just received word that Northam has signed the amended bill into law. There will be no introduction of speed cameras to Virginia this year but the issue is staged for another vote in 2020.

Presumably, Northam would sign the bill then if the legal and constitutional review of how the photo ticket revenue is directed passes scrutiny. We have our work cut out for us even with the departure of one of the main sponsors of SB 1521, Sen. Charles Carrico, after the current session.

Thank you to all who contacted the governor’s office in the run-up to his consideration of SB 1521. While the outcry may have given him pause, we’ll likely have to gear up for another battle in early 2020.


Please go here for previous NMA alerts with more detail about SB 1521.



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