"Last year when I worked here there was a couple of kids that sure were close to getting hit," says mother Sylvia Pena. Sylvia works right across the street from Monterey High School. Everyday she witnesses drivers darting down 50th Street. "Even though it's a high school zone cars still don't slow down for them," says Pena.
It is a concern shared by every parent, and police are cracking down on speeders in all 60 LISD school zones. "We'll find a school zone to work, especially some that people have abused quite a bit, and we'll be there, you may not see us but we'll be there," says City Patrolman, Mike Furlow. With radar guns, and fast Harleys, Furlow says they are sure to catch school zone speeders. Last year Lubbock Police wrote 410 tickets to speeders in school zones.
If you are caught speeding in a school zone you face bigger fines. "It's a whole separate violation to get a speeding zone ticket so theres an additional fine, I believe it's $25 on top of whatever the speeding fine is," says Furlow.
Police say they give out the most school zone speeding tickets at campuses located on major streets. A clear example is Coronado High School on 34th. It is a long, busy street which makes it difficult for drivers to adjust to the quick changes in speed limits. "Come Monday there's a drastic change in the traffic patterns all over the city, add about another 30,000 cars in that 7:30 to 8:30 hour and same thing in the late afternoon," says LISD Chief of Police, Tom Nichols.
With block scheduling at some LISD schools, your safest bet is to always look for the lights. "In the last couple of years, LISD has changed their school hours, so school lights come on at different times and a lot of them come on during lunch like at Lubbock High, Coronado, and Monterey," says Furlow. Those new school zones will go into effect next week when school begins.
LISD and Cooper ISD begin next Monday August 19th. Frenship schools start classes the following day on August 20th.