SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport police have formed a partnership to try and curb rising traffic deaths. Officials say the measures are intended to convince drivers to slow down, not penalize them.

Police say traffic deaths have increased over the last year due to speeding.

“There have been 17 people that have been killed as a result of automobile accidents,” announced Police Chief Wayne Smith during a quarterly update press conference on Friday.

There were 11 car fatalities by this time in 2021. As a result, Shreveport police partnered with Blue Line Solutions, which will begin installing cameras in 10 Caddo Parish School Zones at the start of the school year.

“We’re not trying to penalize people. We want people to slow down,” says Blue Line Solutions Communications Specialist Jena Sullivan. “We want them to drive like their kids are walking to school.”

The cameras can detect speeding cars, take a photo, then issue a citation in the mail.

“Sometimes that’s what it takes to get people to slow down,” says Sullivan, adding the pilot program will happen in four phases. As time progresses, they plan to install speed cameras in all of Caddo Parish.

She says right now, about 75,000 people speed in the 10 selected school zones. Drivers often speed more than 11 miles per hour above the speed limit in school zones, Sullivan added.

“Certainly, we have a responsibility to our children to make sure that they are safe and free from being killed or injured as a result of someone speeding through a school zone or speeding otherwise.”

Police say parents of the affected pilot schools will be notified of the initiative and the 30-day warning period, which begins on Aug. 3.