73ºF

'Enough is enough:' Speeders won't slow down in school zones

Police say speeding is a problem at all 14 school zones in Titusville

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The school zone in front of Jackson Middle School in Titusville is packed with children walking to school every morning and every night. 

In that single school zone on Knox McRae Drive, there are two elementary schools and one day care within a few hundred feet of each other.

However, every morning and afternoon drivers aren't slowing down for the kids, according to Titusville police Lt. T.J. Wright.

If the speeding continues, it's not a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when" a child will be injured, Wright said he believes.

"When is something bad going to happen because of the speed?" Wright said.

The problem goes beyond Jackson Middle School.

Wright said speeding is a problem in all 14 school zones in Titusville. Every day. Morning and afternoon.

Wright said he asked speeders to slow down nicely, at first.

When school started in the fall, Titusville police officers stood on the sidewalk escorting children safely across the street while waving and smiling to drivers. They held banners and signs reminding drivers of the school zones.

"We actually had signs made up, that said 'School's back in session, drive safe, slow down,'" Wright said.

When that didn't work, they took to social media, posting banners and pictures, pleading with drivers.

Next, they brought radar guns to the school zones and handed out warnings. That didn't work either. Now Titusville police have switched to "100 percent enforcement," Wright said. Zero tolerance. Everyone gets a ticket.

"We don't want to issue citations but we do want the public to know they need to slow down," Wright said. "This is a last resort but has reached to this point."

Tuesday morning, Police were pulling over drivers every few seconds.

The school zone speed limit while the lights are flashing is 15 mph.

Some drivers were clocked doing 24 mph, 28 mph, even 30 mph -- twice the speed limit.

One driver was given a $309 fine for driving 13 mph over the speed limit in a school zone.

Crossing guard Sal Hernandez said drivers need the wake-up call.

"They really don't respect the lights flashing," Hernandez said. "It's crazy because they know there's kids here and we're trying to protect them. I'm afraid of one of the kids getting hurt really."


About the Author: