Drivers warned to slow down in school zones
Anchorage police are asking the public to slow down in school zones. On Thursday morning, officers staked out an area near Romig Middle School looking for people going faster than the 20 mph limit the law requires. APD Traffic Unit head Sgt. Rick Steiding says it's a section of Minnesota Drive where they often get complaints.
"It has to do with the speed limit of Minnesota itself," said Steiding. "Being a 45 mile-per-hour speed zone, and the school zone being at the top of the hill just before the lagoons, people tend not be aware or just ignore the flashing lights. So, we get a lot of complaints for this area."
Steiding said the penalties for going too fast in a school zone are high -- including an automatic six points on your license. That's in addition to fines. According to Steiding, three to nine miles over the limit is a $135 ticket. Ten to 19 miles over the limit is a $270 ticket. Twenty to 29 miles over the limit is a $540 fine. Steiding said fines can top $1,000 for people who go even faster.
"The big thing to remember is anything 30 and above," said Steiding. "So, if you are doing 50 miles an hour through a school zone, that's a $1,200 citation."
Police admit they haven't been giving many tickets lately because there aren't many traffic enforcement officers to write them. The department had 16 officers in the traffic unit several years ago and is now down to six. But Steiding says the public needs to know that police are still on the lookout.
"While there aren't a lot of officers out there to enforce the school zones, we are out there," said Steiding. Adding that the best way to keep kids safe is for everyone to pay attention on the roads, and make sure and slow down.