Camera enforcement proposed for school zones could cost speeders

Florida lawmakers considering bills to automate ticketing

A warning for drivers about school zones. There's a proposal in Florida to install CAMERAS – to catch speeders. News4JAX Reporter Scott Johnson joins us LIVE in San Jose.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A bill pending before the Florida legislature would allow cameras in school zones to watch for speeding vehicles and issue tickets to speeders.

House Bill 357 and Senate Bill 1474 would install cameras at school zones in Florida to catch speeders who go above the posted speed limit. If the legislation passes and becomes law the tickets would be $132 to violators. The House bill provides for ticketing to start for speeders who go more than 10 mph over the limit.

Photo enforcement of speeders in school zones is already being used in several Georgia cities.

Business owners across the street from San Jose Elementary on St. Augustine Road told News4Jax that speeders often break the posted 15 mph speed limit during hours when school zone speeds are enforced.

Anthony Munoz operates Paleteria Magia Fresca ice cream shop right across the street from the school.

“There is a lot of people that do speed. Eventually, a lot of the kids come and eat at my shop,” Munoz said. “That would encourage the kids to come out more and be around here and the school and be safe, because there’s a lot of speeding around here.”

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson applauded the move in the Legislature.

“I’m actually happy that the Legislature is taking this action and let me tell you why. We don’t need to wait for someone to get hurt or killed in a school zone,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson pointed out that it would be incumbent on the state to make sure all the proper signage was posted to make sure people knew where the school zone begins and ends.

“Where the school zone starts and where the school zone ends, so there won’t be any mishaps of tracking. In other words, if you haven’t passed through the school zone in its entirety and you speed up, you could possibly be ticketed,” Jefferson said.

The bills propose that 45% of the revenue from the fines would go to the state general fund and 45% to the county or city agency to be used for public safety. The school district would get 4% of the money, FDLE and the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program would each receive 3% of the revenue.

A county or municipality must spend at least 30 days educating the public about the new enforcement measures and issue only warnings before fines could begin. And no points would be assessed against the driver’s license and insurance companies would not be notified.

About the Author:

Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.