Permanent school speed zone signs delayed

By Laura Geller - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Tuesday morning, the big yellow buses will be on the way to pick up students for the first day of school. In addition to their annual safety reminders, Henrico Police are concerned about traffic issues stemming from a new high school in Glen Allen.

It's back to pencils and back to books for students around Central Virginia and that means it's time for drivers to look out for the kids.

"They haven't seen it now for about three months, so that's back in play," said Henrico Police Lt. Jim Price.

On Staples Mill Road in Glen Allen, drivers have something new to confront. The state of the art new high school opens Tuesday. Oscar Covington worries about the increased traffic.

"The high school is right across from the main entrance into our community here," he said. "So I was concerned about that being able to get out into Staples Mill."

Adding to that concern is a dilemma caused by a communication breakdown between Henrico County and the Virginia Department of Transportation. An application for speed zone alert signs near the school wasn't approved until Friday. Come Tuesday morning, drivers will not see them on this 55 mph State Route. Only large temporary signs and the flashing lights of police cars will serve as a warning.

NBC12 checked in with Henrico County Public Schools. A spokesperson said there is no definitive date set for the installation of those permanent signs near Glen Allen high.

"There'll be no tolerance on that," warned Lt. Price. "Anyone exceeding that speed limit will find themselves being stopped."

Henrico Police will increase all patrols near bus stops, along routes and in those school zones throughout the county.

"During the school year, you see people just ignoring the buses, running right past, this type of thing," said Covington. "I hope they will be cautious of what's going on."

School speed zones start at elementary schools at 7:20 in the morning, at middle schools at 8 a.m. and at high schools at 8:15. Expect increased patrols throughout the first month of school.

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