CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Local police officers and residents are speaking out on an ongoing issue affecting the safety of our communities. Reports of speeding in school zones are leading to higher police visibility in a number of areas.
When in school zones, drivers should travel 15 miles per hour; however, some residents say they’ve seen cars go much faster.
“It scares me to death every time I go and I watch people driving 45 miles an hour through the speed zone,” said Edward Fuller, the parent of a local student.
Fuller picks up his fourth grade son from his State College elementary school every day.
“There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where I haven’t seen people going, not just speeding, but really double or triple the speed limit which is 15,” said Fuller.
For the safety of his son and others, he’s been vocal on the issue.
“I’ve stood out with a sign and said, ‘Please, slow down,’ because evidently the sign that flashes that 15 miles per hour isn’t enough for people to realize,” said Fuller.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said, in addition to following the speed limit, drivers must always yield to pedestrians and stop for buses.
“If you come across a school bus that has it’s stop arm extended and those red lights are flashing, you need to stop 10 feet before,” said Timothy Nebgen, safety press officer for PennDOT Engineering District 2-0. “There are some pretty stiff penalties if you don’t do that.”
Violations of the School Bus Stopping Law may subject a $250 fine, five points on your record, and 60 days of license suspension.
“I know it’s not just my son’s school, it’s schools all around town,” said Fuller.
In March, the Bellefonte Borough Police Department shared a post on Facebook reminding the community of these school zone laws.
In the post, they said, “Police have and continue to receive complaints of excessive speeds in the school zones, especially during arrival and dismissal times. In an attempt to deter excessive speeding police have increased visibility in the school zones.”
Both police and community members said they hope public awareness of the law increases safety for our local children.
“I just want people to be careful around school zones, that’s all I want,” said Fuller.