PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Oct. 30 marked the start of a 30-day warning period if you’re caught speeding in a school zone in Portsmouth.
Last week, the city announced it would install speed cameras outside seven schools to encourage safe driving.
The solar-powered cameras record and take photos of people driving by. A police officer reviews the footage and if someone is caught driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit in a school zone, they’ll receive a notice in the mail.
For parents and grandparents with children at Brighton Elementary School, the cameras bring peace of mind.
“It’s hard getting out of here sometimes. We have to literally slam on brakes if you’re turning right. You have to slam on brakes because they’re going,” said Shanique Jones.
Jones’s son Bryson is in first grade and she’s seen some close calls during pick-up and drop-off.
“I think it’s a good thing actually so the kids feel safer. Parents won’t have to worry about accidents and things like that. Hopefully we’ll get some results with it,” Jones stated.
Grandmother Pamela Anstead tells us she’s one of the slower drivers who pass through school zones and hopes others follow suit.
“I just hope people will pay attention. Nobody has that extra money to pay out, I know I don’t,” Anstead said.
The cameras are automatically calibrated every half hour.
“There’s a high probability if you receive one, you were speeding,” said Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins.
Jenkins says there are no fines with warnings but come Dec. 1, each violation will cost drivers $100.
New Kent County just announced that it will also have school zone photo enforcement at all county schools, with warning citations beginning Dec. 1 and full activation beginning Jan. 16, 2024. It noted 2,300 violations in a five-day period during a 2022 study.