Bill would require cameras in school zones

School speed limit in a school zone.
Photo Credit: Vanessa Laurent

Florida lawmakers have filed a bill that would require cameras in school zones. House
Bill 657 mandates that all counties in the state must enforce school zone speed limits
through a speed-detection system. Violators who are caught speeding will catch a huge

Samantha Elliot, parent of a student at Pineview Elementary School in Tallahassee,
says that this is a great first step toward addressing the high traffic volume and
speeding around the schools in her neighborhood.

“Most of the time I’ll see people doing 45 mph in a school zone when the limit is 15,”
Elliot said. “Speeders are everywhere and as a parent I make sure that I walk my son
inside for his safety. It’s about time that something is being done about this issue.”

According to the bill’s text, speed cameras that are installed near school zones are
similar to red light cameras and will have the ability to capture your speed and tag
number and if violated there will be a ticket in your mailbox.

In addition, the bill states that the ticket for speeding in a school zone would start at
$132 and about half the revenue would go to the state. Just under half will go to the
school district and the rest will go to pay for the speed cameras.

Corey Grant, a former crosswalk guard, says implementing a system that ensures the
safety of everyone is vital.

“As a former crosswalk guard I have seen a lot of incidents that could’ve been
prevented if we had this system implemented a long time ago,” Grant said. “It’s our duty
to remind drivers of the presence of people crossing the street but it was only so much
we could do.”

Senate Bill 588 is a companion bill to HB 657, and was introduced by Senator Ana
Maria Rodriguez, R-Doral. SB 588 has been filed and referred to the Appropriations
Committee on Transportation.

HB 657 has been referred to the Infrastructure Strategies Committee, the Justice
Appropriations subcommittee and currently in the Transportation & Models

Former school teacher Malory Tims says that she would always have to go above and
beyond directing traffic before and after school sessions.

“It’s like people are blind to the school speed limit sign,” Tims said. “Speeding through a
school zone is serious business and it's unsafe. People have to be more considerate. If
you know you have to be somewhere at a certain time, leave early especially if you
know you have to drive through a school zone during school hours.”

The bill also states that “if payment has not been made within 30 days after notification
under subsection, a traffic citation will be issued by mailing to the registered owner of
the motor vehicle involved.”