Florida lawmakers to consider speed detection cameras in school zones

Could being forced to pay make drivers slow down?

Plans would be to install camera to catch people going 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit in school zones.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Tuesday for the start of a new legislative session.

One of the bills they’ll consider includes another way to catch people speeding through school zones.

The bill would let Florida cities and counties install speed detection cameras in school zones. If the cameras capture someone going 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, the driver could get a ticket.

Kate Klee said she often sees drivers speeding through school zones around Hendricks Elementary.

“Over in that area specifically, I see people speeding in that school zone all the time. And kids are crossing and that’s a very busy area,” Klee said.

It’s the same story for Jacksonville parents like Fatima Al Nsairat.

“I don’t feel safe for the kids because of the bad drivers sometimes,” Al Nsairat said. “They keep going sometimes, and it’s hard for kids just to cross. To be safe to cross the street.”

As lawmakers consider a new push to allow cameras that not only take video or pictures but also detect how fast someone is driving, parents said it could be a way to finally get people to change their bad habits.

The bill said if you’re caught on camera going too fast in a school zone, you could get a citation in the mail worth $158.

That $158 would be broken up several ways, with parts of it going to the Department of Revenue, the local county or municipality and the school district where the violation occurred for school safety programs and initiatives.

Parents and drivers said if having to pay up gets people to slow down, it’s worth a try.

“Kids are the most important thing in life,” Al Nsairat said. “They can’t protect themselves. It’s our responsibility as parents or adults to keep an eye out for these kids.”

The bill says the car’s registered owner must be told about the violation within 30 days.

Drivers who get a ticket would have the right to see the footage, either in person or remotely. They could also request a hearing.

“I know that people must see that everyone is slowing down, and they choose not to themselves,” Klee said. “They should be held accountable for that.”

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.