Troopers have new plan to catch school zone speeders

Troopers have new plan to catch school zone speeders
By: Erica Byfield

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Ky. - We've all seen the signs in school zones with flashing lights telling us to slow down. But data collected by the Kentucky State Police shows people don't always obey the law.

In fact, police say it worries them enough that they've come up with a new plan, to figure out what it will take to get you to slow down.

It is an old way of catching speeders with a new twist. "We'll be using an under cover car so they won't know who we are" said Trooper Barry Meadows with Kentucky State Police.

Valentine's Day marks the kick off of a new statewide school zone safety campaign "a trooper said this morning out of 100 cars 40 percent were speeding enough to be ticketed" said Meadows. Believe it or not he didn't write a single ticket.

The state police are paying special attention to schools in high speed zones like Livingston County High School; where when schools not getting in or out drivers can go 55 mph. "This new pilot project is in three phases" Meadows explained.

The first phase is a research period "we're going to try to get true to life driving behavior in these school zones for the next month" said Meadows. 

Phase two starts in March, when troopers will start writing tickets for moving violations and people not wearing seat belts. Then in early April, officers will once again use under cover cars to clock drivers to see if there visible enforcement from the month before paid off.

"Slow down, take your time through them, obey the speed limits because the fines can be double if you get a ticket" said Meadows. 
He adds he is pretty sure KSP has there work cut out for them because on day one the radar gun pinpointed too many people thinking no one else is watching.        
While we don't have any information on accidents in school zones; Kentucky State Police data from 2005 shows, elementary school kids ages 6 to 12 were in nearly 8,000 car accidents.