SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – For the last few months, drivers speeding through Shreveport school zones have received citations in the mail as part of a new safety measure, and officials say it’s working.
The program began in June 2022 when the Shreveport Police Department and Caddo Parish Schools released alarming statistics on how prevalent speeding was during active school zones. Over the five-day period, data shows that 48% of vehicles drove more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.
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Once Blue Line Solutions began installing speed cameras in August, a 30-day Public Information & Education phase began. Drivers speeding through the zones during active hours from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. received warnings in the mail. Data released by the SPD shows a 22% reduction in speeding vehicles during the period.
After the warning period, drivers speeding through the zones began receiving citations. Initial results show a 78-94% drop in speeding through the zones during active hours. Officials say traffic volume also reduced by 27% through the school zones.
However, the results varied during midday when the zones were inactive. The SPD says in some areas speeding remained lower, but in others, the number of speeding vehicles increased.
Shreveport police remind motorists to always exercise caution behind the wheel. The Louisiana Department of Health Child Death Review Report from 2016 lists vehicle crashes as the leading cause of fatal injury in children under 15.
Officials say drivers have three warnings as they approach one of the monitored school zones during active hours. The first is a sign stating “Photo Enforced,” followed by a radar feedback sign displaying the driver’s current speed. A placard displaying the school zone times with flashing lights is the last warning before citations are issued. If a driver travels 11 mph or more over the speed limit, they receive a ticket in the mail.
The system monitors speeding traffic using LIDAR, the same technology used by police officers around the country to measure the speed of vehicles. A Camera Network Operations Center monitors errors if they occur, and the citation processing software prevents the system from processing errant data, providing two “safety nets” for the devices.
Blue Line Solutions follows state requirements for recertification of the LIDAR devices used in the camera system. A third party, trained and vetted by the manufacturer, re-certifies each device at least once a year. Each device also conducts a self-check every 35 minutes. If the system cannot verify all components are working correctly, it goes into an “Error State.” and will not capture images or speed until a technician resolves the issue.