It was an unusual morning for the Speed Zapper. KLLL radio personality Rick Gilbert joined the 'Speed Zapping' team as they set up shop outside Rush elementary school. "28, 29, slow it down," said Mummolo.
By all appearances, the duo was catching drivers running an average of 10 mph an hour over the speed limit. "31, in a school zone!," said Mummolo. "This isn't a school zone, the school zone is over there," said one driver. "She tried to talk her way out of that one," added Gilbert.
But wait a minute, the speed limit was 30. A look around the entire perimeter found no 20 mph school zone signs. Nothing to indicate the standard speed limit of 20 mph, despite children playing in plain sight. A problem parents have been trying to address.
"It's unbelievable that there are no school zone speed limit signs," said Mummolo. "We agree, we agree, and something needs to be done about it," said Dina Phillips, the mother of a second-grader. "Even the principal sent out a memo asking parents to watch their kids and to cross them," she said.
The school was founded in 1953, but will only be receiving official school zone status this summer. A full 50 years after the first bell rang.
"But the city, it's just city bureaucracy John, they just haven't done it yet," said Gilbert.
In fact, in a phone interview with the city traffic engineer, it was discovered that school zone signage is not automatic. A list of criteria has to be met, including the type of street, and the volume of both vehicles and pedestrians.
"So we're clocking people going 29 saying, 'Slow down,' and they're saying, 'I can go 30,' and technically they're right," said Mummolo.