Officials working to combat speeding in school zones

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

School and city officials are working together to research the cost of radar signs in school zones.

The radar signs, which will flash at drivers and display a vehicle’s speed, run between $3,000 and $5,000 each, city officials said.

Gene Bieker of Clovis Municipal Schools said school officials are interested in helping the city purchase the signs.

Clovis Police Capt. Ron Hutchison said anything that can help remind people to slow down in areas where children are present, especially school zones, is a good thing.

A school zone on Grand Avenue near La Casita Elementary has had the biggest problem with speeding, Bieker said, though with the first month of school coming to an end, speeders have been reported in virtually every school zone throughout the district.

“People just don’t think of the consequences of what they’re doing,” Hutchison said. “What you have is children that just don’t understand the rules of the road.”

“It’s not something people do in any kind of conscious way, they’re just not conscious of the fact they’re speeding and how much distance it takes to stop, even at 30 miles per hour.”

Hutchison said officers have been told to cover school zones as much as possible.

“Pretty much the standing order is right now if you’re not doing something else, you need to be in a school zone,” he said.

Hutchison said the sheriff’s department and state police have also been asked to assist the city in patrolling for speeders.

The fine for speeding in a school zone is $160.

School zone citations:

• Aug. 13 thrugh Sept. 11 — 69

• 2007-2008 school year — 191

Previous years:

2006 — 25

2005 —157

2004 — 71

2003 — 125

2002 — 70

Source: Clovis Municipal Court

15 — Miles per hour speed limit in Clovis school zones