NC bill would bring cameras to Durham school zones to curb speeding

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — You may see people driving through school zones much faster than posted speed limits

Now, there’s a push to try to curb that.

“They always speeding up and down this street, like all the time,” said LaQuita Watson, referring to a 20 mph zone.

Watson lives across the street from Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham.

She knows firsthand the danger of speeding.

“My son, when he was three years old, he got hit by a car,” Watson said.

A bill filed in the North Carolina legislature Wednesday would allow for a pilot program in Durham to use cameras in school zones to catch people speeding.

RELATED: Click here to read the bill filed by Senator McKissick

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Floyd McKissick, says if it’s successful, it could be expanded across the state.

Terry Bellamy is Durham’s transportation director and used to work in Washington, D.C., which uses cameras to enforce speed limits.

“It’s all about saving lives, and the way that you save lives is to reduce speeds, and especially in school zones,” Bellamy said.

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A car equipped with a camera would be parked outside different schools on different days.

The fine for speeding would be $250.

Bellamy says it would be decriminalized and the owner of the car would be responsible for paying.

“The intent of it is to change the behavior,” Bellamy said.

The cameras have their critics.

In Iowa, people have unsuccessfully sued about the cameras saying they’re unconstitutional.

A poll shows a majority in the state want them banned.

“If people are aware that someone is watching, it may help them to slow down,” said Rashidah Myrie, who lives in Durham.

But, even Watson wonders if they’ll work.

“People don’t care. They go through the lights and fly with cameras on the lights,” Watson said.

If this is approved, it could take a year to roll the plan out.

There would be an appeals process set up.

The money from the tickets would go to pay the cost of the program and make improvements in school zones.

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