Hit the brakes, school starts Monday

Baldwin school has been a problem area for speeding in the past

Speeding in a school zone could cost drivers three times more than the average speeding ticket.

In 2005, there was a statewide push to reduce speeding in school zones. Since then, officers have issued more than 500 tickets for that offense.

Starting Monday, school speed zone signs that many drivers have been ignoring throught the summer months will be enforced for Illinois drivers.

"That zone will apply on school days when children are present," Traffic Safety Officer Neal Meyer said.

Officers want to reinforce that school speed zone signs differ from typical speed limit signs.

"A driver would have 500 feet to slow down, but in a school zone that starts immediately," Meyer said.

When it comes to safety in or near a school zone, it's best to stick with the 20 MPH speed limit.

"Please slow down. These students, especially our high school drivers, not all of them park in the parking lot so they're having to walk around the school," PTA President Sandi Rose said.

Baldwin and Quincy High School are both areas that have brought concerns to officers in the past. The new set up of lanes should help reduce some of the speeding around those schools, but there are still areas for concern.

"There's a crest of a hill up at the new traffic light at 33rd. There very well could be students on the other side of the hill to where a motorist would not think there are motorists present, but always assume that there are," Meyer said.

Talking on your cell phone is also illegal in school zones.