Question of the Day

Filed in National by on April 30, 2012

Why does Delaware seemingly not enforce school zone speed limits?

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  1. socialistic ben says:

    ive never encountered this. i commute to work past 2 schools during “yellow flashy times” (i think that is the official terminology) and everyone obeys the reduced speed limit and there are always county cops there…. unless you mean county cops arent real police officers. 🙂

  2. Dave says:

    seemingly [adv]
    1. in appearance but not necessarily in actuality
    2. (sentence modifier) apparently; as far as one knows

    Unless they observe the violation and then fail to enforce, my guess would be that it is probably a matter of priority. Because law enforcement resources are limited and they cannot be everywhere, all the time, they depend on the public to advise them when there is an issue of public safety, hazards, etc. Naturally, victimless crimes/violations are going to be of lower priority.

  3. nemski says:

    @ Ben, living in Brandywine Hundred there are many schools near by. And, I’ve never seen cops monitoring speed limits near the schools. I’ve seen Century 21 employees in front of schools asking motorists to slow down, but no cops. Just look at two schools two miles apart on Foulk Rd. – Brandywine High School and Lombardy Elementary School. Both have school zone speed limits on a 45 MPH roadway. No one, absolutely no one, ever slows down.

    @ Dave – A lower priority? So we have to wait for a child to be killed be a speeding car in a school zone to make it a priority?

  4. Zafo Jones says:

    Generally-speaking, DelDOT has designed our transportation infrastructure and regulations around cars, not people or bikes. So, the enforcement follows suit. You can count the number of bike-ped planners in DelDOT on the one hand of a bad high school shop teacher.

  5. DDE GOP Super PAC forcing school board election victory? for Mon. Open Thread –

    Wilmington News Journal 04/29/2012, Page A31

    Just who is running for our school boards?

    Anyone who has been fol­lowing national politics will have to wonder what impact the newly permitted “Super PACs” will have on the upcoming presidential campaign.

    Many Americans are con­cerned that elections will be won on the basis of money spent and not necessarily on the character and qualifica­tions of the candidates.

    While the national election might seem a little far re­moved, surprisingly, a similar movement is occurring in Del­aware with the upcoming board of education elections.

    A recent e-mail was sent to various individuals by a group called Voices4Delaware.

    It urged recipients to con­tribute $600 to various board candidates that this group supports.

    Four districts, including Appoquinimink, were targeted as being “strategically impor­tant” to their mission.

    I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the qualifications of the candidate that was being endorsed for Appoquinimink, nor do I have an issue with him.

    The only information that was given about him in the e-mail was that he had attend­ed a Christian school, was an active member of the Repub­lican Party and had attended Leadership Delaware training.

    When I contacted the spokesperson for Voices4Dela­ware, I was shocked to learn that none of the other candi­dates running for the board in Appoquinimink were even vetted, leaving me to wonder how could the most qualified candidate be promoted.

    School board elections may not have the stature of national elections, but they are abso­lutely critical to the well-being of the communities they serve. I would hope that we would consider all candidates who are running and would ask some very critical questions of each one.

    Are these candidates run­ning to serve their schools and community or do they have some personal agenda?

    Are these candidates in­volved in our schools so that they understand the critical issues facing education today?

    Will these candidates work on behalf of all students in the district?

    Do these candidates have enough confidence in the pub­lic school system to send their own children to them?

    Hopefully, as the school board elections occur, we will be wise enough to keep ram­pant politics out of the race and elect school board mem­bers who represent kids – not Super PACs or political parties or unions.

    Real reform will come to our schools when caring com­munity members who are will­ing to do the right things for the right reasons are elected to boards of education.

    Tony J. Marchio is the former superinten­dent of the Appoquinimink School District.



    This column may or may not have made its way to the online news pages – is the News Journal playing games?

  6. Dave says:

    “@ Dave – A lower priority? So we have to wait for a child to be killed be a speeding car in a school zone to make it a priority?”

    I did not say I agree with the priority, but they can’t be everywhere doing everything. You want it to be higher priority? Fine, take a crack at prioritizing law enforcement and see what you can come up with.

    Remember, it is a matter of resources. When something moves up on the priority list, something else moves down. It’s opportunity cost. There are other measures to control speed through school zones, including speed humps/bumps, signal lights, stop signs, crossing guards and crosswalks, cameras, and the tried and true parking a police vehicle in a prominent location. All these are enforcement measures that have been shown to be effective.

    Usually these measures are taken when the community expresses a need and DELDOT assesses the appropriate solutions. The community has a role in law enforcement and officers pulling people over is not necessarily the best use of resources. But then, I’m no expert that would be up to the police and DELDOT.

  7. Andy says:

    most kids do not walk to school any more

  8. Debbie says:

    You’ve clearly not driven past Newark High School on a weekday morning. Frequent speed traps as folks try to make the light to Library Avenue.

  9. Zafo Jones says:

    I would absolutely support a speed camera in every school zone that tickets drivers clocked over 30 (the threshold at which a car will switch from injuring a struck pedestrian to probably killing a struck pedestrian). No fines or points involved, just an automatic loss of license for six months if we can prove that it was you who was driving. There would be no more speeding in school zones in fewer than thirty days following full implementation.

  10. puck says:

    Best thing for problem speed areas is the radar signboard that displays your speed. Most people just need a reminder. But I guess there will always be those who think severe punishments are more important than, you know, solving the problem.

    Also, school zones are too often ambiguous: “Speed limit 20 when children are present‘ but there are rarely children present. Or, “when yellow lights are flashing” and then they are flashing around the clock including evenings and weekends. So there’s a credibility problem with school zone speed laws that needs to be fixed before increasing penalties.