Olathe police target speeders in construction zone by school - KCTV5

Olathe police target speeders in construction zone by school

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Speeders are in for a nasty surprise when they zip through a construction zone outside an Olathe high school.

Fines are double in a work zone, and some teachers and students at Olathe East High School are finding out just how much of a hit to their wallet they are going to take. One person said they received a $520 ticket.

Olathe officials say they have received complaints about traffic violators, so they have stepped up enforcement. Crossing guards and construction workers complained about the speeders.

"In work zones and school zones, tickets are about changing behaviors in an area where you have workers and kids," said Tim Danneberg, spokesman for the city of Olathe.

He said too many people are traveling at a high rate of speed.

"It's critically important to keep those kids safe," he said. "It's those areas in particular you want behavior to change because consequences of a very little mistake and speeding can be exceptionally tragic. The margin of error in those areas is so little the consequences could ruin a number of lives."

Some teachers said they realize there is no excuse for speeding, they wonder why the fines are $400 or more. They said the costs are out of proportion.

"We had a student and his father get a ticket yesterday. He told me today, 'There goes our Christmas,'" said Nancy Johns, a nurse at the high school. "It's not about getting the ticket for speeding. It's the astronomical cost of the ticket. I'm in education. I'm not in it for the money. I don't have $520 extra."

Nancy Tijaden said the costs are hurting families.

"I think the outrageous fines are really hurting our kids," she said. "We have several kids on free and reduced lunch who aren't able to pay their rent."

There is a student traffic diversion program that can help reduce the fine. For parents and teachers, they can work out a payment plan with the municipal judges.

Some want more speed limit signs installed to serve as a reminder to slow down.

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