School zone camera enforcement returns to roads as students return to school

More traffic cameras to be added in school zones

NEW ORLEANS -- Law enforcement and teachers are uniting to tell drivers to slow down in school zones as back to school gets underway.

Parents like Michael Gordon tell us slowing down for him is second nature. 

"Most of the time you see people not paying attention to the signs, and you see them coming through real fast, they got kids repeatedly coming back and forth," Gordon said.

But he says that's not the case for other drivers.

"We have to get out of our cars and help out the people that already work here," he said.

Gordon says some drivers are so impatient, that they even ignore the crossing guards, but soon a new traffic camera will be going up in front of the school.

"An objective analysis of the traffic camera program has found strong evidence that cameras have reduced the incidents of crashes at those locations," said New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison.

Harrison, along with members of the Orleans Parish School Board, announced enforcement would return today. They tout the effectiveness of the cameras, as they prepare to install more near schools.

Officials shared with us video from the company that runs the cameras, American Traffic Solutions.  Drivers are shown blowing through school zones at speeds more than double the limit, some were clocked at 58, and 51, in a 20-mile-per-hour zone.

"We just want to remind everyone that they must just slow down," said Henderson Lewis, Orleans Parish School Superintendent.

The Orleans Parish School Superintendent says if the cameras can even prevent one accident that's enough, but the cameras come with controversy.  Some drivers say they're not given enough warning. 

While a public records request through our partners at the Lens revealed a study that suggests school zones without traffic cameras were on average safer than those with them.

"If drivers don't feel like they're being monitored they'll be like hurrying up and drive real fast," Gordon said.

For Gordon though, he says he needs all the help in signs and equipment he can get for drivers to slow down.

The cost of a first offense ticket is $105.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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