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Charlotte County deputies crack down on drivers in school zones

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Jackie Winchester

As the school year gets going, here’s an important reminder for drivers: Slow down.

Charlotte County deputies have caught plenty of drivers speeding or driving distracted through school zones this week. WINK News tagged along Thursday morning to get a firsthand look at how frequently drivers are breaking the law and putting kids’ safety at risk.

Deputy William Weisspfennig feels it’s his job to keep everyone safe on the road.

“If I’m not here and somebody speeds through and hits a kid, I couldn’t live with myself,” he said.

With students back in class, he starts every day protecting them as they head to and from school. He’s one of many Charlotte County deputies cracking down on drivers breaking the law in school zones.

“People just are not paying attention to the flashing lights. They’re too busy on their phones, distracted some other way,” he said.

Weisspfennig pulled over eight drivers in school zones Thursday morning: two for distracted driving and six for speeding.

“You always see the occasional one going really fast,” said parent Angie Fulleton.

“Just remember that someone else’s babies are out there and just take the extra time,” said parent Jessy Pearson.

Her message is simple: Slow down and pay attention.

“It’s better to be five to 10 minutes late than to not make it at all,” she said.

The sheriff’s office pulled over 33 drivers on the first day of school. Most stops happened near Port Charlotte Middle School since it’s off busy Midway Boulevard.