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Police: Watch speed near schools

MARYSVILLE — With a new school year well underway, Marysville police have a message for area motorists: 20 miles per hour in a school zone means just that.

Marysville Police Sgt. Doug Lee warned local drivers that traffic patrols will be monitoring speed zones to make sure the law is followed, for everyone’s sake.

“Right now we only have one school that doesn’t have signs with flashing yellow lights and that’s Grove Elementary,” Lee said. “They’re supposed to get theirs soon. If you see flashing lights, even if there are no children present, or if children are present at any other time, 20 miles per hour means 20 miles per hour. If they’re behind a fence, that’s one thing, but if they’re so much as in a parking lot next to the road, even on weekends, that’s the speed limit.”

Lee noted that enforcement efforts will be stepped up during mornings and afternoons, and even eight miles over the speed limit could have serious consequences.

“When you’re driving 20 miles per hour, it takes you 19 feet to stop,” Lee said Oct. 10. “When you’re driving 28 miles per hour, it takes you 34 feet to stop. That makes a significant difference when a child runs out into the road. Kids don’t always make good choices, so we have to exercise caution. We’ve already had two accidents between cars and bicycle riders in the past year, one of them just yesterday. One kid only suffered a leg injury, but the other one had to be hospitalized.”

Lee added that cars need to start recognizing pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks, which include four-way intersections, whether they’re marked or not.

“This one is not just at schools,” Lee said. “Motorists are waiting until pedestrians step out onto the road, but pedestrians won’t do that until the cars stop. If a pedestrian is standing at the edge of the road attempting to cross, drivers must stop. We’ll be emphasizing zero tolerance of violators of that law, as well.”

The fine for not stopping for pedestrians at a crosswalk is $124. The fine for going 28 miles per hour in a 20 mph school zone is $210, and the fine for going 32 miles per hour in a 20 mph school zone is $271. Lee explained that committing more than one violation at once would result in combined fines.

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