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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Florida’s first school zone speed enforcement cameras going live in Lake County community

The first school zone speed enforcement cameras in Florida will be activated on Wednesday in Eustis on Orange Avenue at Prescott Street near Eustis Elementary School, following more than a 30-day grace period for drivers. 

Since Feb. 21, motorists have received a warning for driving in excess of 10 miles over the posted speed limit in the school zone, but beginning this week, violators will receive a citation and a $100 fine. All violations will be reviewed by the Eustis Police Department, and no points will be imposed on the owner of the vehicle. 

“Our goal is to protect students and keep them safe going to school, not to hand out tickets,” said Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri. “We’ve given motorists more than a month to get used to the cameras and to slow down while driving in the area. To date, 767 warnings have been issued, but starting this week, they’ll be tickets with fines instead. People tend to change their behavior when you hit them where it hurts – in the pocketbook.” 

The program was developed in partnership with Altumint, an industry leader in traffic safety technology. The school zone on Orange Avenue is the first in the city and was selected due to the high number of speeding motorists. Florida is ranked as the third worst state for pedestrian traffic fatalities, according to a Florida Road Safety Report, and speed cameras have been shown to reduce traffic incidents. The city intends to put cameras in other school zones as well. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 657 in 2023 making speed cameras legal in Florida for the first time by allowing their use in school zones. Eustis is the first city to implement the cameras following the bill’s passage, with dozens of other cities in the state looking to follow suit.  

“Slowing down and driving the speed limit is a small price to pay for potentially saving the life of a child,” said Capri. 

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