Kindergartner asks drivers to slow down in his school zone

Speeding cars in school zones a growing problem, deputies say

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Cars speeding in school zones is a growing issue in Clay County, causing major scares for crossing guards, students and parents, according to deputies.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said it’s seen a rise in careless and distracted drivers who are blowing through school zones, and deputies will be out to make sure drivers are following the rules. If not, they'll face a hefty fine.

One Clay County mom, who lives around the corner from an elementary school, said she might have to start driving her children to school instead of allowing them to walk or bike there, because cars won't slow down.

“They need to look out for (the children). They can get hit,” Charmaine Dennaway said. “We walk to school, and we ride our bikes to school, and there's tons of kids that ride bikes and walk.”

Dennaway's son, Jalen, is a kindergartner at Oakleaf Village Elementary.

On top of the usual issues of homework assignments, extracurricular activities and fitting in with peers, Jalen and other elementary school students also have to deal with the growing problem of drivers speeding in school zones during school hours, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said.

Parents said cars sometimes reach 43 mph in the school zone, which is labeled with a 15 mph speed limit.
Deputies said speeding fines are doubled in school zones. Drivers who are caught speeding more than 30 mph over the speed limit in a school zone in Florida can face a fine of $550.50.

Dennaway said she has taught Jalen to look both ways when crossing the street, but it's up to drivers to slow down to make sure kindergartners, like her son, get home to their parents.

“Could you please slow down?” Jalen asked of drivers near his school.