Chesapeake drivers question accuracy of cameras catching speeders in school zones

school zone speed camera .jpg
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 18:23:47-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Finishing out the school year, cameras were recording drivers to catch speeders in nearly a dozen locations across Chesapeake. So, how is the program going, and are there issues to be resolved?

The Chesapeake Police Department began installing the cameras in the spring. Drivers caught speeding more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit during the morning and afternoon times when students are walking to and from school, could be issued a $100 fine. The ticket would be sent in the mail.

Chesapeake Police have said the money from fines will be funneled into different programs within the department.

"The police department hasn’t made any revenue now. It’s too early to say anything because we just haven’t gotten those numbers yet," stated Officer Marc Lawrence.

"With the over 3,000 potential violations we are still reviewing all potential violations. With over 1,000 citations issued, we have had a small portion want to appeal the citation," Lawrence added.

Social media posts from residents reveal there have been discrepancies with the new cameras. For example, some are claiming the time the vehicle was in the area is inaccurate.

“On the day I got mine, there were no flashing lights,” Renee Norman wrote to News 3.

"A person in my family had gotten a ticket and he swears there was nothing flashing," described Pat McGovern who added that their ticket was later excused.

According to officer Marc Lawrence who oversees the program, the cameras, along with flashing signs are only to be active during designated times during the school day. Though school is out for the summer, police say a camera is active near Great Bridge Middle School in the 400 block of South Battlefield Boulevard for summer school sessions as well as five other locations across the city.

Lawrence said despite some frustrations from citizens, he feels the program is working.

"I can see more and more drivers slowing down, doing the speed limit, doing the 25 in the school zone," Lawrence said.

The ten permanent cameras and two roving cameras will be fully activated again in September for the start of school.