Blacksburg officials considering school zone speeding cameras

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Blacksburg Town Council and police are in the early stages of curbing speeders in school zones throughout the town.

“Our schools are the most important part of our communities - protecting the children, protecting the future our future of this country,” said Todd Brewster, chief of the Blacksburg Police Department.

Blacksburg police made a proposal to the town council to put speed enforcement cameras in school zones.

“It’s not about issuing tickets,” said Brewster. “It’s about trying to curb people’s behavior speeding through those zones when school is in session.”

Chief Brewster said the town has two problem areas.

“The bigger problems that we have are on Prices Fork Road, we have three schools out on Prices Fork, and then one on Tom’s Creek Road where we have a lot of traffic traveling to and from [Virginia] Tech,” said Brewster.

Though the solution is still in the beginning stages, Chief Brewster said this would help officers’ overall coverage.

“For an officer to stop a vehicle, issue a citation to that driver, it can take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes, sometimes up to 20 minutes.”

There are some council members that have concerns.

“The video itself apparently is stored by this third-party contractor and we need to know how long they hold it and how long they have access to it,” said Leslie Hager-Smith, the Blacksburg Town Mayor.

Mayor Hager-Smith said she thinks the signs will still help.

“I have a good feeling about what we heard today,” said Hager-Smith. “I especially like the idea that they are not just in it to pile up the infractions. There would be signage that will give people plenty of warning.”

While the proposal was just set forth on Tuesday, Blacksburg Chief Brewster said signs could have the cameras up and running by next school year.

About the Author:

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.