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City of Neptune Beach looks to bring speed cameras to school zones if approved by council

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — “This is a solution to a problem that we know exists,” said Chief Key

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The City of Neptune Beach wants to put a stop to speeders in school zones. Police Chief Michael Key says this is all about protecting children.

“I have a duty and also sworn to protect the citizens of Neptune Beach, especially our children. The fact that we now have statistics to show and prove we have a speeding problem,” said Key.

The city conducted a traffic study on Seagate Ave and Florida Blvd., where both Neptune Beach Elementary and Beaches Chapel School are located, and some shocking numbers were presented.

On one day, the study found 200 speeding violations during school hours at Neptune Beach Elementary and 182 at Beaches Chapel.

The city’s new ordinance would use school safety speed cameras to enforce speed limits. Mayor Elaine Brown likes the idea.

“That day, God forbid that some child got hurt or injured. Did we do everything that we could to protect the safety of a child going to school,” said Brown.

Chief Key and Mayor Brown say if it’s passed, drivers will have a 30-day educational grace period, so if you are caught speeding you will only get a written warning, but after that, tickets will be issued.

“The camera program is set to only a 100-dollar citation. It does not have any points against your driver’s license. It cannot be used to rake up your insurance rates, and again it’s only 100 dollars,” said Key.

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Chief adds only if you are going 10 miles or more over the speed limit, will you be ticketed, and these rules will only be enforced during school hours.

He adds tickets will be sent through the mail, and drivers can dispute them.

“If the statistical data hopefully decreases to the point where we have no citations absolutely, we are going address it,” said Key.

Chief Key says the money from the tickets the city will receive will go back to public safety.

We did ask Mayor Brown, what would she say to those who argue this is a money grab for the city.

“Just don’t speed through the school zone, we won’t make any money off you,” said Brown.

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