RICHMOND, (WRIC) – Drivers near Linwood Holton and Patrick Henry Elementary schools, be prepared to slow down – big time.
Richmond Police, in partnership with the city’s Vision Zero Task Force, Richmond Department of Public Works and Richmond City Council, installed two speed cameras at both schools with the goal to eliminate speeding within the active school zones.
Two cameras have been placed on Northbound Hermitage Road and Westbound Laburnum Avenue near Linwood Holton. The other two are on Eastbound Semmes Avenue and Westbound Semmes Avenue near Patrick Henry Elementary.
Marsha Carter is a long-time employee at Floyd’s Tire and Auto Service. The shop is located next to Patrick Henry Elementary school on Semmes Avenue.
Carter claims speeding is an issue at school drop-off and pick up every day so, when she heard two speed cameras were installed to help address the problem, she said any effort to keep students safe is one she’d like to see.
“They’re our future. We want them to be here for our future. So, I’m glad that’s going to happen. So, I’m sure parents are happy,” said Carter. “My kids are all grown, so I don’t have to worry about that. But I do care about other people’s kids as well.”
Carter adds the endeavor may not make a difference.
“All I can say is I hope it helps, but people are going to do what they want to do,” Carter said.
Richmond is following Petersburg’s footsteps who also installed speeding cameras near two high schools in early October.
All four will be activated for up to two hours during morning arrival times and up to two hours during dismissal. However, drivers passing through will get warning signs when they are on.
Once the speeding cameras officially go into effect, drivers will get a 30-day warning period with a fine that can increase to $100 for an attempted offense.
Brigitaa Betts, a junior at VCU, works at Patrick Henry Elementary twice a week and says she’s happy the city is taking everyone’s safety into consideration.
“I’m excited to see the improvement that the camera will have for the school setting, as well as just people, the pedestrians that are walking by here as well.”
It’s still unclear if Chesterfield or Henrico schools will be adding these safety measures – but Carter says she’s happy Richmond is also joining in on the effort.
“All we can do is hope and pray that it will be a positive result.” she said.
The Safety Camera Program will see two more expansions that will increase the total number of safety cameras at the pilot stage from four to 26, covering 13 school zones. They will continue to monitor the effectiveness and will move the cameras if needed to other speeding areas.