WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Wythe County Board of Supervisors along with the sheriff’s office is hoping to curb dangerous driving in school zones.
According to a study from January, it showed 28,500 drivers traveled through county school zones, and out of those 19.9% clocked in at speeds 11 miles per hour above the speed limit. In light of the speed study, the board of supervisors has adopted an ordinance to help keep student pedestrians, school transportation, and other motorists safe.
“These school zones on Routes 11, 52, and 21 are already marked with flashing lights, speed limit signs, school zone markings on the roadways, and school directional signs,” said Charles Foster, Wythe County’s Sheriff. “Even with all those safety measures, every fifth driver is endangering themselves and others with excessive speed in school zones.”
In spring, the sheriff’s office will install speed enforcement cameras in school and road work zones. Anyone caught speeding through these areas will be issued civil penalties of $100.
“Our intent is to actively deter unsafe driving through school zones so we can protect student lives,” said Foster. “We can’t have a deputy there all the time, but the speed enforcement cameras will be a constant deterrent.”
These new speed cameras will help capture a photo of a vehicle in violation of speeding, and then a deputy will issue a citation, and then it will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. These violations are considered civil violations. There will be no points or a report to the driver’s insurance company.
“It is imperative that we take these measures to ensure and protect the safety of Wythe County’s children, teachers, parents, and school staff,” said Foster. “Slower speeds mean fewer serious injuries and deaths.”