MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s not every day Poonam Patel walks her son to Idlewild Elementary School. Whether she’s driving him or walking him, like she did Tuesday, she notices ones thing.
“Sometimes I don't feel safe because they go so fast,” Patel said.
Patel is talking about the traffic along Union Avenue. A section of the busy road becomes a school zone during the week. It’s been pointed out as one of the areas needing extra patrol for school zone speeders.
Cameras now monitor the Idlewild Elementary School Zone and 15 other school zones across Memphis.
“They're doing a good job. A very good job,” Patel said.
After a few delays, the Speed Safety Cameras became active Tuesday. If they catch you speeding, you’ll get a $50 ticket in the mail.
The City of Memphis has been gearing up for the Speed Safety Program for about a year after it entered in to a $3.3 million, five-year contract in December 2018. The city said the 15 spots picked for the cameras have the highest rate of school zone speeders. Officials said 350 locations were considered.
“The long-term goal of the program is to increase safety for kids going to school, drivers driving cars we want to reduce crashes,” said MPD Deputy Chief Don Crowe. “We want people to feel safe, be safe. We want people to know you cannot speed in a school zone whether an officer is present or not.”
The cameras are active for 30 minutes before the start of classes, then 15 more minutes once school starts. They’ll be active again 15 minutes before the end of class, then the 30 minutes following the close of school.
Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said this about the cameras in SCS school zones: “We are extremely grateful to partner with the City of Memphis and Conduent on Memphis’ new Speed Safety Program as we encourage motorists to slow down in school zones.”