‘Big hurry to go nowhere’: New cameras bust speeding drivers on South Hill

SPOKANE, Wash — You’ll want to think twice about speeding through school zones on the South Hill. Safety cameras in three school zones; Ferris High School, Adams, and Roosevelt Elementary School started to issue warnings to speeders on Monday.

The warning period ends November 1st and the city will start to issue tickets to those driving above the 20 mph posted speed limit.

Speeding is a deadly, and costly problem, especially in school zones.

The city already has cameras and flashing lights installed on the north side of town but wanted to expand safety to the South Hill.

Raymond Floyd recently moved his family to Spokane from Wyoming. He says he feels safer bringing his children to school with the new cameras in place.

“I see a lot of speeders going into school zones anytime, and I know school zones go onto a block area, but most people don’t understand that, and no one sees a one-year-old, two three rolling across the street,” South Hill resident Raymond Floyd said.

Consequences for not slowing down can be deadly.

The Spokane Police Department says a pedestrian hit by a car at 20 miles per hour has a 90 percent chance of survival.

That drops to 50 percent at 30 mph and even lower at a higher speed rate.

“That’s why it’s so important for people in our school zones to reduce the speeds so that we can keep the kids safe as they’re coming and going to school,” said Sgt. Teresa Fuller with the Spokane Police Department.

The Spokane city council wanted to find a solution to the growing problem after a student was hurt by a speeding driver in 2014.

The City council contacts SPD about where they believe the problem areas are. SPD then works with Spokane Public Schools to narrow down where to put the cameras, and flashing signals.

Cameras and flashing signals are already implemented on the north side of town.

“I think some of them slow down because the light blinks and it’s time for school to be out but a lot of them just don’t pay attention,” resident Barb Akers said.

Cameras will take pictures of cars that don’t follow the speed limit.

“Everybody seems to be in a big hurry to go nowhere. A lot of people work from home, and maybe they’re on their lunch hour but maybe they need to start a few minutes earlier,” resident Jennifer Case said.

Tickets cost anywhere between $217 to $450 depending on the speed limit.

“People do learn unfortunately by getting their wallet hit and sometimes that’s the best practice for changing people’s driving behavior,” Fuller said.

Almost 19,000 tickets were given in school zones in 2021. In 2020, the number was down to 9,000. In 2019, 15,000 tickets were issued to drivers.

Tickets will be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle.

RELATED: New school zone cameras installed outside of 3 Spokane schools