Bridgewater adding speed cameras in school zone along Route 42

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - In the coming months, photo speed monitoring equipment will be installed to slow down drivers in Bridgewater school zones.

In a 5 day study performed by the speed camera vendor Blue Line Solutions in late September, 12,300 drivers traveled the Main Street corridor on Route 42 near Turner Ashby High School and John Wayland Elementary School while school zone lights were flashing. This happened from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Almost 1,100 of those drivers went over the speed limit by at least 10 miles per hour. 50 drivers were going over the limit by at least 20 miles per hour.

“We are working hard to make the whole town more pedestrian friendly,” Bridgewater Town Manager Jay Litten said. “It is not a traffic ticket in the traditional sense meaning it won’t accrue points on a person’s driving record or anything.”

But it will cost anyone driver 11 miles or more over the limit while school zone lights are flashing. Litten said the speed monitoring cameras will not ticket drivers otherwise.

This is a partnership between the Town of Bridgewater and the Bridgewater Police Department, which will free up officers for other emergencies but still enforces the speed limits in this area. All speeding reports will go to BPD, where Chief Phillip Read will verify that a citation is warranted before it is mailed to the driver.

“We felt it was appropriate to take measures just to let people know that we were serious about creating a safe zone for pedestrians,” Litten said.

Potential revenue from photo enforcement has not yet been calculated. While some revenue is anticipated, Litten said the overall goal is to incentivize people to prioritize the safety of students and slow down.

A crosswalk in this area will be added and is expected to be completed sometime in the spring of 2023.

An official contract has not yet been signed with Blue Line Solutions, but the initiative has the Town Council’s stamp of approval. Litten expects in 2 to 3 months, the system will be installed and operational.