The crackdown on school-zone speeders

TRI-CITIES - Hard to believe that school's barely back in session, and dozens of drivers were already ticketed for speeding in school zones. KEPR knows your child's safety is a top priority for you. It's why we examined the speeding hotspots, and how police are working for you.

Mark Tyler considers the consequences of speeding.

"You could kill someone, and then you have court problems, and then on top of that, you feel bad because if you'd been a little bit more careful, you're done," said Kennewick driver Mark Tyler.

It's why the speed limit drops down so far in a school zone. But some people still don't pay attention.

"It's a life-changing thing to get into an accident involving somebody like that," added Tyler.

Andrew Lowry got his first and only ticket in a school zone. He says for many it's unintentional.

"By the time they realize the kids are there, they're hitting their brakes, they already caught them," said driver Andrew Lowry.

Many were caught last week just as school was back in session. It wasn't even a full week for most districts, but Kennewick PD ticketed 30 drivers in school zones. Richland estimates fewer than 20 tickets.
Pasco ticketed the least at about five including early this week.

Police say the first weeks are all about education. Issuing warnings and informing drivers that school is back in session and those school zones are critical.

"I generally see people that drive really safe," said

But police see it differently in these areas. Pasco officers carefully monitor speeding at schools along Sylvester. In Kennewick, Amistad Elementary and Desert Hills Middle School are hotspots for speeding. They're both located on a four-lane stretch - which is normally posted at 35mph. And in Richland, it's along Wellsian Way near Carmichael Middle School and Richland High.

"Sometimes it's just an honest mistake. It happens," said Lowry.

A mistake worth considering. Another important reminder: fines are double in a school zone.