Parma considers speed camera program for school zones

Posted by [replacer_a] November 18, 2008 17:39PM

Categories: Stan Donaldson/Plain Dealer Reporter, Breaking News
PARMA -- Drivers caught speeding near schools in Parma next month may face a $100 fine.
Education for the streets around the school district's 22 schools.
But Mayor Dean DePiero and other city officials claim the move is about safety, not generating revenue.
"My belief is that school zones are a sacred and protected area because there are kids in them," DiPiero said. "I don't know how anyone could argue with strict traffic enforcement in school zone."

AP Photo/Larry Phillips PhotographyMayor Dean DePiero
City council members will listen to a presentation by Redflex Traffic Systems on Dec. 1 and are expected to vote on a measure for a school speed trap program by mid-December, DePiero said. Under the proposal, a van would go to school zones at different times of the day to track speeders, the mayor said. The van would be equipped with a speed monitor and cameras to capture images of cars that go beyond the 20 mph limit. Officers would issue warnings to offenders during the first month of enforcement.
After the month passes, Redflex would mail tickets to offenders and take a percentage of the fine with the rest going to the city's General Fund, DePiero said. It would be a civil infraction so no points would go on the speeder's driving record. Police Detective Marty Compton said speeders in school zones account for as much as 30 percent of the department's traffic tickets. This school year, more than 200 tickets have been written for the offense, he said.
"The safety of the kids in the community is a priority," Compton said. "It is even more of consideration when it is dark in the (morning), dark in the evening, and kids walk to and from school."
The district has had two incidents in the past 15 years where students were hit and killed by speeding vehicles at Normandy and Parma high schools.
School administrators said they don't mind the possibility of a speed trap.
"We have to make sure the students are safe," said Sarah Zatik, superintendent of Parma City Schools.
Zatik said that speeding vehicles around schools have become a concern for faculty and parents in the 12,600-student district. She said in some instances, it's the students and families who go too fast as they make their way to school in the morning.
"I do believe that students are among those who might be going too fast, and a $100 ticket is a quick reminder that if you are around a school to take it slower."

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