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IPD monitoring school zones

If you drive any distance at all in Ironton you will more than likely see school zone signs warning motorists to slow down to the 20-mile-per-hour mark and keep a watchful eye.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

If you drive any distance at all in Ironton you will more than likely see school zone signs warning motorists to slow down to the 20-mile-per-hour mark and keep a watchful eye.

But how many people take heed when traveling through the zones? The answer, unfortunately, is very few.

During Wednesday morning’s school time rush, Ironton police officer Beth Rist sat at the corner of Sixth and Washington streets near Kingsbury Elementary. While she explained the school zone speed limits, cars whizzed by the cruiser. Watching the radar, it was easy to see few people obeyed the school zone speed limits.

In a span of a few minutes, about 20 cars went by and not one of them were going 20 miles per hour. Most were traveling 8 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit – including school buses.

The cars weren’t driven by teenagers in decked-out cars trying to show off for their friends, either. Instead, business people talking on cell phones and mothers in minivans and SUV’s, were the primary offenders, speeding by children walking on the sidewalks in order to drop their own children off at the school.

The school zone in front of Ironton High School or St. Joseph wasn’t any better. At the high school, one car topped out at 42 mph while a school bus went about 5 mph over the speed limit.

Police Chief Bill Garland explained that officers are trying to curb the speeding through school zones in order to reduce the chances of a child being injured. The police are also calling on local motorist to slow down while traveling near school and observe posted speed limits so this can be a safe school year.