St. Johns County drivers may have noticed a new speed limit in school zones Friday.
District Transportation Director Al Pantano told Action News Jax some school zones in the county now have a 20mph speed limit.
Shelley Pinkham walked her grandson to his first day of first grade at Julington Creek Elementary Friday.
She said she’s glad to hear about the decrease in speed near schools.
“It’s so scary, you know. People just don’t pay attention,” she said. “People are so distracted by their phone. They’re in a hurry to get to work. Leave early, I mean really.”
School leaders said the district has added 24 buses to its routes in the past two years.
Two new schools and numerous new housing developments in the works mean an even bigger increase in the number of vehicles on roadways.
“If we did have to drive, it would be a bit more of a problem because of the traffic,” Scott Pinkham said. “Luckily we get away with that one being a walker.”
School employees say deputies will be closely monitoring speeds in school zones during the next week.
“One thing I noticed is parents, especially when they come out of the parent loop, they go right back into a school zone and they forget they’re in the school zone and they immediately start to accelerate,” Pantano said.
He said with the change in speed limits and new construction in the area, drivers should pay extra attention when driving near schools.
A Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson said Florida statute requires posted school zone speed limits on state-maintained roadways to be no greater than 20 mph.
He referred Action News Jax to the local municipality regarding their process for county or city roadways.
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