Marines

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A speed limit sign on Stone St. aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, flashes, warning drivers aboard the base to drive the posted limit especially in the school zones, Aug. 30. The N.C. Senate Bill 49 went into effect at the beginning of the school year and introduced a hefty monetary fine for violators, but since there are no monetary penalties aboard the base for violations, military police are doing what they can to enforce and educate the base on the new regulations.

Photo by Cpl. Damany S. Coleman

Local law enforcement cracking down on speeding in school zones

31 Aug 2011 | Cpl. Damany S. Coleman

Driving faster than the posted speed limit anywhere, on any road, is illegal – common knowledge, right? However, for those who choose to do so, especially in a school zone, particularly in North Carolina, are in for an expensive surprise.

The N.C. Senate Bill 49, which went into effect Aug. 25, states that the penalty for speeding in a school zone or on school property spiked from a not-so-bad $25 to a wallet-sapping $250. On top of the tenfold fine increase, five points will also be assessed on the violator’s driver’s license.

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety said speeding in a school zone is now on equal monetary standing with speeding in a work zone or failing to move over for stopped emergency vehicle.

According to the bill, school zone speed limits are only in effect when that particular school is in session and the school zone must be properly marked with the speed limit as well as indication of the days and hours the reduced speed limit is in effect.

Aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and other area installations, although the base military police are doing what they can to crack down on speeding, there is no monetary penalty with speeding tickets.

Marine Corps Civilian Law Enforcement Officer, Lt. Marcos Vega, the traffic division supervisor, said traffic violators go through an administrative court, as opposed to a monetary system where they go out and pay fines associated with out-in-town citations.

However, military police still implement a lot of the same governor’s highway safety programs and informative initiatives that drive both the federal and state campaigns on speeding.

“Anytime there is an increase in school zone activity we follow that with enforcement and education, such as articles in the paper and safety briefs with school and faculty,” said Vega. “We make sure they can get all the notices published to parents and children. That way, everyone is aware of what’s going on to increase motorist perception that there will be children in the area.”