CHINCOTEAGUE, VA -- Residents and officials on Chincoteague are expressing conflicting opinions about a proposal that could allow local governments in the state to install speed cameras wherever they see fit.
Currently, speed cameras are only allowed to be installed in schools zones and work zones in Virginia towns. There are no speed cameras in town limits on Chincoteague.
Kim Dennis, owner of local shop Hollyhocks on Main, says she'd like to see that change.
"I think it would help the police department, because they don't have to monitor every single area of the island with limited resources," says Dennis. "They can keep their eyes on certain areas like the downtown area. I also think it would deter potentially, burglaries or other crimes. Vandalism, for example. I can't imagine why it wouldn't be beneficial in some parts of town."
Local resident Thomas Boyer agrees.
"We would be proactive in anything that helps maintain traffic at a safe speed and safe for the number of people that visit this island," says Boyer.
Despite locals' concerns about safety and speeding, acting Chief of Police Tyler Greenley says there is no interest in installing the cameras.
"Even if the bill were passed, I think most interactions, or most of these violations for speeding should have some sort of human interaction, and right now, it's just not something that we're looking into," says Greenley.
Chincoteague Mayor John Leonard says the town's speed trailer, already slows drivers down.
"From what we've learned, most people will obey when it shows them they are speeding," says Leonard. "So, I do not see us using speed cameras on the island."
The Virginia General Assembly will reconvene on January 10th, where lawmakers will discuss the proposal.