We see a lot of people who get Broward speeding tickets in school zones. The reason for this is that municipalities with the assistance of law enforcement go out of their way to catch people speeding in school zones. There is a safety reason for this, of course. The speed limit is lower in school zones because there are children around and no one wants to see them get hurt. However, there is more to it than just that. The fine for speeding in a school zone is double the normal fine. That means that the road you usually drive on that is 45MPH can cost you around $600 if you forget its a school zone. Most people become complacent over the summer and forget when school starts.
It’s the double fine that makes it so attractive to cash-strapped governments. That is the reason that so many people get Broward speeding tickets in school zones even when they were driving barely over the speed limit or in the process of slowing down. What happens is that a driver sees the flashing yellow lights and starts gradually slowing down to the posted speed. However, the driver does not get under the school zone speed limit before entering the zone. Police check a car’s speed at the beginning of the school zone in a deliberate attempt to catch people who are in the process of slowing down.
Police officers will tell you that they check the speed limit at the beginning of the school zone because people do not slow down until then. If that is what the majority of drivers actually did, then the police would be acting properly. If the speed limit is 50 mph outside of the school zone and 20 mph inside of the zone, it would not be safe for drivers to hit the brakes right as they enter the zone. However, that is not what happens most of the time. Drivers see an upcoming school zone and they ease off on the accelerator in an effort to gradually slow down before entering the zone. When the police tag them for speeding in the zone, the vehicle is moving 26 mph, not 50 mph. It should be obvious to the officer that the driver is attempting to get under the designated speed in a gradual and safe manner. However, if the officer wants to, he can write the driver a Broward speeding ticket for speeding in a school zone that comes complete with a double fine.
IT IS A SCAM
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that drivers should be allowed to speed through school zones or that we should not have school zones. I am not even suggesting that fines should not be doubled in school zones. What I am trying to suggest is that police officers need to be reasonable about who they issue the tickets to. Broward County has some school zones on very busy streets. It is not safe to slam on the brakes on these streets and drivers should be allowed to slow down gradually when they see an upcoming school zone. If that means that they are still traveling a little bit over the speed limit when they enter the school zone, officers should exercise some discretion and not issue tickets.
FYI SCHOOL ZONE
Around most South Florida Schools, the speed limit is 20 mph. There are usually signs to warn you that you are entering a school zone. There also should be a sign when you exit a school zone. Watch out of school buses also. When a school bus stops, you must stop. If yo don’t, it will cost you 4 points on your license. Try to focus when you are driving. How many of us have driven for a few minutes and then thought to themselves, “did I stop at that stop sign?” This is especially common when driving very familiar routs such as your drive to work each day.
I am sure my pleas that cops give a little latitude to drivers slowing down are likely to fall on deaf ears with politicians and the police. I will continue to have many clients who are ticketed for speeding in school zones. As with every other type of traffic ticket, my firm can work with these clients to take care of the ticket. We have the experience to handle these cases in a way that almost always does not result in increased insurance rates for our clients or in points on their driver’s licenses. Call me, Jason Diamond, anytime for a free consultation.