Caution: School Zone Ahead

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

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Every morning, drivers are hurrying down 8th Street in Meridian trying to get to work or other locations on time. It wouldn't be that unusual, except that 8th Street from 37th Avenue to 44th Avenue is a school zone, and it's clearly marked.

"We try to advise the public. These laws have been on the books for a while. Signs and blinking lights have been up there for a long time," said Lt. Dean Harper. "When people don't get the hint from just a normal warning, we start issuing tickets until they do."

And the signs are up for a reason. Within just a few blocks of the flashing school zone signs are three schools with hundreds of students, most of them 13 and under.

"It's small children crossing the road. They're toting books, big book bags and whatever, and if someone comes through here at just the normal speed, they could get run over by a car," Harper said.

But it's not just this particular area that has educators and law enforcement concerned. Within the city limits are easily 10-15 elementary, junior high and middle schools. All of them have children walking down these streets every day to and from school.

At T.J. Harris Elementary, they say if the kids are obeying the rules, why can't the adults?

"It's the law and I think that one of the things that we're trying to instill in our students is that rules are made to keep us safe," said Rosalind Operton, assistant principal at T.J. Harris Elementary. "They're not made to harm us, and so if the light is flashing, there's a reason for it."

"The law is the law. You have to slow down in these areas," said Lt. Harper. "The speed limit is 15 miles per hour."

Fines for speeding in a school zone (based on the number of mph over the posted limit):

0-9 $100
10-19 105
20-29 115
30-39 135
40-49 150
+50 175


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