Cameras may be added to school zone speed signs in Cape Coral

Reporter: Haley Zarcone
Published: Updated:

The City of Cape Coral is looking to crack down on speeding in school zones. A Florida House Bill that passed last summer could help to catch these speeders and give them a fine, too.

House Bill 657 “authorizes counties and municipalities to use speed detection systems.” Comparable to red light cameras, installed on speed signs for school zones, these cameras would pick up a speeder’s license plate as they zoom through a school zone area during these specific times, according to the bill:

  • Within 30 minutes before through 30 minutes after the start of a regularly scheduled breakfast program
  • Within 30 minutes before through 30 minutes after the start of a regularly scheduled school session
  • During the entirety of a regularly scheduled school session
  • Within 30 minutes before through 30 minutes after the end of the regularly scheduled school session.

Called “Speed Detection Systems,” these cameras would be installed in areas that the City of Cape Coral deems the most “high risk” for speeding. A traffic data collection study is being done later this month to see which of our school zones needs these reinforcements.

As of the 2023-2024 school year, 21 schools in Cape Coral have these school zone flasher signs. To find the complete list of schools with this signage and more information about Wednesday’s meeting, you can visit the City of Cape Coral’s website.

A part of this list of schools is Challenger Middle School. Neighbors within a mile of this school and two others have seen drivers speeding through their streets first-hand.

Tom Curran has lived at his home off of Tragfagler Parkway since before these school zone speed signs were put in.

“I saw the signs go up 20 miles an hour. And I mean, I’ll do the 20 miles an hour, but it used to be just a short span, which school zone begins school zone, and it was done,” said Curran.

Hearing that the fine for speeding in a school zone starts at $100.00, Curran said he thinks that will deter drivers from wanting to speed along Cape Coral’s roads.

“I think that traffic lights, knowing that they’re gonna get a ticket, I think that’ll stop them. Put on the brakes. 30 miles an hour on the streets. 20 miles an hour over there, and that’s not good,” said Curran.

A neighbor of his also said she’s reached out to the city regarding speeding in their area before, “One year. I was on the phone every couple of weeks trying to get, and one person kept putting it off to another person to another department. Nobody dealt with it.”

She’s glad to see progress may be ahead for their residential road.

On Wednesday, the city council and the transportation commission are holding a meeting to look deeper into House Bill 657 and what it would mean for these cameras to be installed in our school zones.

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