BLAINE, Minn. – (Oct. 6, 2017) – The sign says 30 mph, but the speed the cars drive is all over the board.
“It’s a school zone…you would think our motoring public in Blaine would want to slow down around schools,” said Sgt. Jeff Warner from the Blaine Police Department.
With the number of speeding violations they were seeing, the Blaine Police Department has been taking serious steps to enforce the speed limit this year.
“We really wanted to send a strong message to the motoring public this year that school speed limit is the limit,” said Warner.
Many schools in Blaine have speed limits that are temporarily reduced in the morning and the afternoon – at the times when children are getting to school or leaving school. Large signs outside the school indicate when these speed zones are active.
In the first three weeks of the school year, officers working in teams put in more than 60 hours of traffic enforcement in school zones. During that time they have stopped 178 vehicles, giving tickets to more than 60 percent of the drivers. The citations these drivers receive come with a hefty fine.
“Tickets in Anoka County for a basic speed…range right around $130 to $140,” Warner said.
And that price goes up $50 in a school zone. Even so, many drivers are still violating the speed limit.
“A majority of the explanations that we are getting from people are that they didn’t see the flashing lights event though that are pretty obvious,” said Warner.
This year’s increased enforcement isn’t coming out of tragedy, but as an attempt to prevent potential injury.
“We are up here more as a preventative measure,” said Warner.
Just driving through a school zone, you are likely to see at least one driver violating the law. Probably more.
“Its obvious to us from the enforcement stats that we are seeing so far that this is an area that we need to keep working on,” said Warner.
But, Sergeant Warner does say that he and his fellow officer believe more people are driving the speed limit. They say it’s better than past years – potential due to the enforcement you can see outside of a school at the beginning or end of the day.
“I’ve noticed a huge difference already”
Following three weeks of heavy enforcement around some schools, they plan to mix up what schools they will be near, and what days they will be doing targeted enforcement. So, even if you don’t see the officers out for a few weeks, its not over.