School speed zones likely still in effect during summer


If you typically ignore school speed zones during the summer, you may want to think twice about that. It could cost you.

As Lorraine Ohlman said, "I understand during the school year what the rules are, but I don't know about the summer."

And no wonder, with many schools going to a so-called "year-round calendar."

"The year-round calendar is a problem. You don't know which schools are year-round and which aren't," said Bob Lyell.

Capt. Chris Boomershine heads up the traffic department for the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. 

"That's tough for us, too. Typically, we have to look at website. Most schools have their calendars posted," he explained.

But he also said if school is in session, the speed limit's in force. And not knowing could cost you $150 or more.

Norman White, who acknowledged getting "a ticket or two in the past," said he doesn't take chances, even if upsets other drivers.

"I'll be going the speed limit and people get mad and blow their horn at me and probably call me an old guy and I watch them trying to get around," he said. "You may only see a few kids, but kids do things like I do. When no one's coming they may run across the street instead of waiting at the corner."

Aside from year-round school, there's also summer camp and summer school.

Friday found the parking lot at North Central High School full of cars, but that didn't slow the traffic along 86th Street any.

Turns out there were band, orchestra and tennis programs going on. Should those cars have slowed down?

"If it's a school-organized function, we are still able to enforce the school zone," said Boomershine.

That's typically 25 mph between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on school days.

Higher volume streets have signs with flashing lights to alert drivers when the speed zone is in effect.

Olhman, for one, wishes there were more of those flashing signs.

"There are a few schools that have that and I love it because it reminds me to slow down," she said.

The problem is the signs with flashing lights are more expensive.  IMPD often does highly publicized "school zone enforcement" efforts at the start of the school year to remind motorists to slow down.

"We'll probably do some of those in summer, too. We'll have to with the year-round calendar," said Boomershine.

Bill Lyell, however, won't be waiting for the reminder.

"I got a ticket in Carmel going through a school zone and ever since then, I watch my P's and Q's going through there," said Lyell.