ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Does the school zone speed limit apply during summer when school is out?
- Some drivers confused about summer school zone rules
- Officer says there are 3 active indications to look for
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That question is at the center of this week's Traffic Inbox.
Ryan Stolz lives in the Kenwood neighborhood of St. Petersburg. As he makes his way to work each morning, he passes by St Petersburg High School.
"I've got some flexibility on when I can leave. Sometimes the school zone is active, sometimes it's not," Stolz said. "You kind of read the speed of traffic to tell because you can't always see the lights."
There are two overhead flashing school zone lights at the school -- one at 24th Street North and the other at 28th Street North.
Stolz says the lights still flash each morning as they do during the school year, and a lot of drivers are confused if they need to slow down or not.
Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson went to his expert, Officer Robert Peters with the St. Petersburg Police Department, for an explanation.
"Yes, the school zone is active," Peters said. "And you do have to slow down to that 15 miles per hour speed limit when it's posted like that."
The reason is simple: summer school. There are not as many students on campus, but there is still a need to keep the traffic moving at a safe speed.
Peters says there are three active indications to look for in a school zone: the flashing lights, school crossing guards and the cones in the roadway.
North of that location near Northeast High School, there is a different type of notification. The school zone times are posted on signs nearby.
"The permanent indications are there but we don't have those active indicators going on at that time," Peters said.
In this situation, it's up to each driver to determine if the posted speed limit is OK, or if they should slow down for safety.
Of course, slowing down is always going to be the best option when driving near any school.
As of Monday, summer school is finished and those flashing lights should be turned off, until the regular session starts again next month.