Officials implementing 'no tolerance' for speeding in school zon - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Officials implementing 'no tolerance' for speeding in school zones

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Get ready for flashing school speed zone signs this week as Savannah-Chatham students head back to class. 

Speeding is never a good idea, but Monday we learned that driving as little as five more miles-per-hour in a school zone could send children to the hospital. 

Officers say they have zero tolerance for speeding in school zones. They'll be cracking down like usual. We took a look at brake and reaction times if you are driving the legal 25 miles-per-hour. Officials say when you get into the school zones, pay attention to signage - and slow down. 

The biggest problem is distracted driving. Lt. Gallo with the Savannah Traffic Unit says when they do pull people over, the majority of the time, they're on their cell phones. We tested what would happen if you were speeding - only five miles over the limit. Sure enough, you can't stop in time. We did the same while texting and driving. No surprise - your reaction time is still delayed. 

First, we used cones to demonstrate students. Next, officers mapped out the braking distance to be able to stop in time at 25 miles-per-hour. At 23 feet, we marked where to step on the brakes. At 25 mph, we were able to stop, posing no danger to the students. 

Using the same mark, we sped up five miles-per-hour to 30, which we found could send children to the hospital. Then, at 35 miles-per-hour, things turn fatal. The faster you are going, the longer the braking distance. 

"I honestly think they're not paying attention when they're going through the zones," Lt. Gallo said. 

Lt. Gallo says these school zones are extra important because you're dealing with kids. 

"Children - you know they're walking on the sidewalk or stepping into the roadway. They don't perceive the dangers like an adult would," he said. "Put up your phones, drive the speed limit, so this doesn't happen to your child," said Lt. Gallo. 

We used an empty parking lot that schools use for defensive driving courses for our demonstration. 

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