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Cary police enforce school zone speed limits

The goal is to slow down drivers on the roads near schools. Operation Flash Backer involves officers' moving among different school zones, checking for speeders.

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CARY, N.C. — Cary police are working to get drivers to slow down in school zones or face a ticket.

Operation Flash Backer involves officers' moving among different school zones, checking for speeders.

Lt. Mark Parker said the plan, which will last through September, is an effort “to protect our smallest citizens.”

Since the program started this week, officers have issued 121 citations. One driver was stopped for traveling 59 mph in a 25 mph school zone.

The increased law enforcement is in response to two vehicle-pedestrian crashes that occurred in August and September 2006 near Green Hope High School. Drivers were not found to be at fault in either case, but the crashes did move the Cary Town Council to review pedestrian safety and make changes.

School zone warning signs and flashers were installed at all public schools in Cary throughout the summer.

“That is why the enforcement operation is in progress, to help reinforce that,” Parker said.

Keith Watkins’ son lives a short walk across the street from his school, but every day the child takes the school bus.

“That is not safe to have a little one crossing that street (Reedy Creek Road),” Watkins said.

Watkins said Reedy Creek Road is often a shortcut for people in a hurry. This year, the road was made into a school zone in an effort to slow down drivers, Reedy Creek Elementary Principal Trent Evans said.

In 2007, the Cary Town Council voted to lower speed limits near the district’s 22 public schools to at least 10 mph lower than regular posted speeds, though with no speeds lower than 25 mph.

Drivers should know that school zone speeds are in effect 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after school hours and that speeding violations within school zones carry a $50 fine plus court costs.

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Adam Owens, Reporter
Mark Simpson, Photographer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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