PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — In the latest effort to slow down drivers in school zones, Petersburg police installed speed cameras in two areas.

Recently, neighbors like Dr. Cynthia Owens-Richardson noticed that speed cameras were installed outside of Petersburg High School along Johnson Road. Many community members in the neighborhood are welcoming the change after seeing and hearing cars speed in the area.

“I can sit on the back of my deck and I can hear the cars coming and speeding and the noise is just terrible,” Owens-Richardson said. 

Neighbors have nicknamed the road a ‘raceway’ after witnessing speeding for years. Despite expressing their concerns to police, increased lighting and police patrolling have not stopped drivers from going faster than the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit — a limit dropped to 25 miles per hour during school hours.

The newly installed speed cameras can also be found on Washington Street outside of Appomattox Regional Governor’s School.

The Numbers

  • According to Petersburg police, 50 speeding tickets have been issued in these areas so far this year.
  • Crash data shows that there have been a total of 17 speed-related crashes in the two areas last year. This year that number sits at 11.

“Anything that we can get to deter the speeding in this area is going to be much-needed help,” Owens-Richardson said. “It’s long overdue.”

For now, drivers who go above the speed limit will receive a warning in the mail. But after the first 30 days, tickets will be issued to increase enforcement.

“That remains to be seen because, you know, people, naysayers, they don’t mind getting the ticket or they may think it’s not going to happen to them,” Owens-Richardson said. “But I hope it will.”

Petersburg police told 8News these are the only two speed cameras installed in school zones in the city but more could be coming.