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Speeding in a school zone? Here's how huge your ticket can be

12:56 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- Brace yourself for a big ticket if you're busted blazing through a school zone.

And if you want a little forgiveness, expect the officer to say "no way" and remind you of all of the little people you're putting in danger.

If you're not keeping your eye on the flashing school zone sign, Sarasota Police Officer Kevin Schafer has his eye on you.

Zip past Sarasota's Southside Elementary School, and you can count on getting pulled over and written up.

"We hear the excuse all the time, 'I just didn't see it,' as they're passing other cars that are going 15 [miles per hour]," Schafer said.

Fines are similar across the state. In Sarasota, a minimum school zone speeding fine is $156.

That number rises to $456 if you are 20-29 miles an hour over the limit.

More than that? You get a mandatory trip to court and up to $1,000 in fines there.

Remember buses, too. Pass a stopped school bus going in the same direction, and you'll grab up to a $265 fine.

You also have to wait for stopped buses coming in the opposite direction.

The only exceptions are when you and the bus are separated by a physical barrier, a raised median, or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide.

Those are the only times you're allowed to keep going.

And beware, the Sarasota Police Department's policy matches many others in the state. In a school zone, they don't do "warnings."

"We don't give warnings. The kids don't have a warning when they're coming to school," Schafer said.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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