Police look to address speeding issues near Elkton Middle School

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:43 PM EDT
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - The Elkton Police Department is working to reduce speeding outside of Elkton Middle School on Blue and Gold Drive.

During the first week of school, the department placed a radar trailer on the road as a proactive measure to discourage speeding and collect data on the speed of vehicles in the school zone. Once the data was gathered the department became concerned by the findings.

“We kind of honed in on the school zones in the morning and the school zones after school let out. Some of the numbers were pretty alarming, in fact, to a reckless driving kind of degree here,” said Sgt. Mike King of the Elkton Police Department.

The police department has partnered with the school to address the issue and earlier this week a letter went out to parents alerting them of the findings.

“We thought the best way to handle that would be to notify our parents and make them aware of the data and kind of get them on board and encourage them to partner with us in being safe for the students, staff, and any other traffic,” said Emily Holloway, Principal of Elkton Middle School.

Holloway said that the busyness of the road during school drop-off and pick-up makes traveling at speeds on it even more dangerous.

“It is a highly traveled road. We do have students who walk to school and bike to school so safety on Blue and Gold Drive is extremely important to us,” she said.

Holloway said that the issue will be discussed further at Rockingham County Public Schools’ next safe schools meeting but that communicating with parents and reminding them of the importance of safety when driving in a school zone is the key to solving the problem.

“I think the biggest part is communicating that with parents and continuing to communicate that importance. We will put reminders in our newsletter about the speed for Blue and Gold Drive in addition to the concern of safety in the parking area,” said Holloway.

Sgt. Mike King said that the Elkton Police Department had begun sitting in the school and setting up radar as well as offering warnings to drivers.

The Department will be increasing its presence near the school and running active radar before and after school during pick-up times each day going forward in response to the data.

“We’ll be here every day and we will not be exercising such discretion from here on until we gain control of the situation,” said King.

King urges all drivers to obey the speed limit in the school zone and be mindful of all the children on buses, in cars, and around the school.

“Our number one priority is school safety and I’m sure parents feel the same as well as staff and the school board. We’re gonna be here so just slow down and we’ll find you if you’re not,” said King.