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franklin county times

MPD steps up school zone ticketing

By Staff
FED UP Police Capt. Tommy Miller said he won't tolerate drivers who speed through school zones anymore. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 6, 2001
It's an issue on which police Capt. Tommy Miller says he won't compromise about a message that isn't getting through.
After writing 34 school zone speeding tickets during five one-hour periods over the last week, Miller said he is frustrated earlier warnings haven't deterred drivers from zooming through school zones.
Drivers did pay more attention after an article on the subject appeared in The Meridian Star, he said.
The Meridian Star conducted an informal study last month at Carver Middle School, and found that no drivers clocked by a police department speed device heeded the 15 mph limit. The speeders included four school bus drivers. One car was clocked at 59 mph.
Many of Carver's 525 students cross the four-lane street on their way to school each day. Younger children cross on their way to Harris and West End elementary schools.
Miller began issuing warnings last school year. Since then, he has spread the word in the media, hoping some people will pay attention and take the pedal off the metal.
The work does seem to be paying off, but slowly, he said. With an increased patrol effort in the Eighth Street area, some motorists are slowing down at the sight of a patrol car.
Miller said motorists' excuses are all the same.
Jayson Chisolm, director of transportation for Meridian public schools, said after the first couple of days of police monitoring speeds with portable radar, reports of speeding decreased.
He said police assured him that even if they aren't monitoring when a driver disregards the bus stop arm, school officials can call the tag number in to the police so they can contact the driver.
Motorists who receive a ticket can expect to pay fines between $75 and $105, depending on their speed.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.