Speed cameras to enforce safety around schools in Bristol, Va. | WJHL | #schoolsaftey

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – On Wednesday, the Bristol Virginia Police Department (BVPD) announced it would be setting up speed cameras near local schools to help enforce safety on school grounds.

In a release from the department, officials said studies conducted in 2022 indicated a speeding problem in school zones.

Both the police department and the Bristol Virginia Public Schools (BVPS) system consider safety near schools to be a priority.

“We have a very large concern about the safety of our kids and the school staff and parents or anybody that’s involved,” said BVPD Captain Maynard Ratcliff. “We normally patrol school zones on a regular basis, and this seemed like a good opportunity to start this photo enforcement campaign.”

“The idea is to promote good driving habits around our school zones, not only during the morning drop-off time but also in the afternoon,” said BVPS Superintendent David Scott.

The cameras will be active from 7-9 a.m. and again from 2-4 p.m. The camera will clock those driving 11 mph or more over the posted speed limit in a designated school zone.

At the time of reporting, the cameras are set up near four schools located close to major roads.

“The three of those schools are on Euclid Avenue, which is a major thoroughfare,” Ratcliff said. “And that’s Stonewall Jackson Elementary, Virginia Middle School and St. Anne’s Catholic School. We’re also out at Virginia High School.”

The cameras will begin operating on a warning period for 30 days before moving to an enforcement period.

“We’re going to do a 30-day grace period where we will issue warnings instead of citations,” Ratcliff said. “But after that 30-day period is over, then we will start issuing citations.”

The citation will be a civil citation, meaning the offense will not affect any points on a driver’s license or notify the insurance company. The BVPD did not provide exact details as to how much those citations would cost.

Scott said he has only heard positive feedback from the parents in his school system.

“Everybody, when we talk about student safety, everybody has spoken up so far is in favor of increasing student safety,” said Scott.

The 30-day warning period will begin on Oct. 2. Enforcement will begin Nov. 6.

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