Richmond to install new speed cameras throughout city: 'We are really excited'

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Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 09, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Tara FitzPatrick walks and bikes with her two kids to and from Linwood Holton Elementary every day.

"It is horrifying, to say the least," she said when describing the commute. "It seems like the regular thing to do is go 10, 15, 20 miles over."

FitzPatrick works with Richmond City Safe Routes to School, an initiative from Greater Richmond Fit for Kids.

"I have come out here with a speed radar gun and taken footage of people going in excess of 50 miles an hour during arrival and dismissal when the school zone speed flashers have lowered the speed limit to 25 miles per hour," FitzPatrick explained.

She says the two new cameras placed out in front of the school, which use radar technology to flag the license plates of speeding drivers and issue them with a fine, have been highly anticipated by the surrounding community.

"We are really excited," she said. "We've been waiting almost four years for them."

The new speed cameras are just part of Richmond's multi-pronged approach to addressing speeding and other road safety concerns.

Bobby Vincent, director of the Department of Public Works, said DPW is installing 200 different speed tables throughout the city, saying there are "as many speed tables installed in New York City" during a video chat with CBS6.

Vincent said the Department of Public Works is focusing on the "three E's" of road safety: Education, Engineering, and Enforcement. Recently, the department hosted a Speeding Symposium with city leaders, Richmond and VCU Police, and VDOT to share project updates with residents.

According to a presentation by Michael Sawyer, a city transportation engineer, over $27 million in funding from the Virginia Highway Safety Improvement Program will be used toward pedestrian safety and speed calming projects for the city. The presentation says the funding was allotted to be used between Fiscal Year 2017 and 2027.

"We really want to go ahead and naturally bring the speeds down so that people can't go in excess of a certain speed or in excess of an un-survivable speed," FitzPatrick explained. "I think the unfortunate factor here is what we see in the city of Richmond, and we see regionally and nationally, is that we're playing catch up."

Both Vincent and FitzPatrick say despite the improved safety measures, drivers will still need to change their habits to prevent accidents and injuries.

"I have had, already this school year, a number of incidents with my kid's classmate's parents endangering their lives right at this intersection," FitzPatrick said. "And it breaks my heart and infuriates me."

"I don't know how they would explain to their children that they hurt their child, who their child's classmate's parent."

The Department of Public Works plans to host another Speeding Symposium in April 2024.

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