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Why a Ticket for Speeding in a School Zone Costs So Much Money

School zones ought to be some of the safest places in the world, but in recent years that certainly hasn’t been the case. Even before kids enter school each year, 25,000 suffer injuries walking there, and 100 die.

Speeding in a school zone is naturally a big no-no. Yet most of the time when you drive through one, no children are crossing the street. Why are speeding penalties so expensive?

Today, we take a look at school zone laws. We’ll examine how they affect the cost of tickets in a Florida school zone.

School Zone Laws in Florida

Like most states, Florida has a strict 15-mile-an-hour speed limit in school zones. School zone laws only apply during school hours. Drivers must slow down immediately upon entering the area-usually after passing the speed limit sign.

Some schools have permanent speed limit signs on the roadside, while others place signs on the road during effective hours. Some have crossguards who wear vests and use reflective signs, but not all. Pay close attention, as the way your local school does things may differ from the rest.

This is not like other speed limits where you can go a couple of miles over and be fine. Although the real speed limit by law is 20 miles per hour, anything over 15 miles per hour will almost always incur a fine. Keep an eye on that speedometer!

It’s important to note that police presence is heavy around school zones, especially during busy days. Expect to see a large police presence on the first day of school, as well as before and after the holidays.

Penalty for Speeding in a School Zone

Tickets in a Florida school zone are high enough to make your eyes water. They’re double what you’d get for a regular ticket.

To make matters worse, the fine increases the faster you go. Once you have exceeded that 15 MPH speed limit (as we said, it’s pretty strict) by 1-9 mph, you get an additional $50 fine.

The maximum fine that you can receive is $500 once you’ve eclipsed more than 30 mph. From that point onward, you are at risk of criminal speeding.

What About Other Moving Violations?

Other types of infractions incur equally strict penalties when committed in a school zone. For example, using your phone while driving. Drivers caught with a phone in hand get a $60 ticket penalty, minimum.

It’s likely that the penalty will be even more severe if you have a DUI. Especially if there is a child in the passenger seat.

Like all tickets, this will go on your driving record. Since it’s a school zone, there may be a special note mentioning it. Imagine trying to plead your case before a judge, and he notices that you are in a school zone!

Long story short, a school zone is the last place you want to have a traffic violation.

Why Are School-Zone Penalties So Strict?

It makes sense to most people that you should have harsher penalties around a place with so many children. But why have a speeding ticket double in cost? Let’s take a look at a few reasons.


Perhaps the number one reason for such strict school zone laws is deterrence. Many of the laws in the United States aim to prevent certain behavior by leveling harsh penalties. Because most people are aware that school zones are much more strict than other places, they drive slower.

Think about it. If the ticket in a school zone was the average price, you’d be much more likely to speed, the same as you might risk speeding on the highway. A heavy penalty makes people very, very scared of doing so, and thus they are far more likely to slow down.

Children Have Poor Decision-Making

The second most obvious reason is that children have poor decision-making skills. Due to their developing brains, children are incapable of making rational decisions like adults. This is why parents have to be so strict about playing in the street, for example; kids really cannot tell any better.

School zones tend to be complex places. There are tons of crosswalks and intersecting streets, creating a dangerous maze for children to navigate through. They are busy carrying their school supplies, talking to friends, and thinking about the day ahead of them.

As a result, kids are less likely to make intelligent decisions in these circumstances. They may not pay attention when crossing the street, may not look both ways, and may not look for oncoming traffic.

Most of the laws in the United States and Florida are no exception and introduce harsh penalties for crimes against children. It just makes sense. These are the most vulnerable members of our society, so we must protect them at all costs.

The Laws of Physics

You’d be surprised how slow a driver needs to be going for you (as a pedestrian) to suffer serious injuries or death. Being hit by a vehicle at 23 mph kills 10% of involved pedestrians. That number goes up to 90% at high speeds, such as 58 mph.

That’s right, going just 8 miles over the school zone’s speed limit has a 10% chance of killing a pedestrian. That’s a one-in-ten chance!

But that’s not all. Children are much smaller, and therefore much weaker in a vehicle-pedestrian collision. By the laws of physics, children have a much higher risk of mortality than adults. Though we can’t say for sure, it’s likely double or triple the risk in the same theoretical collision at 23 mph.

This doesn’t mean that children are safe if a vehicle hits them at 15 mph or less. They can still suffer grave injuries at slow speeds. In truth, 15 mph might be too generous for drivers; it’s high enough to prevent stalling traffic that passes through.

Get Legal Help With RHINO Lawyers

Speeding in a school zone is no joke and will cost you double the normal penalty price. The reason for such steep penalties is likely deterrence and a way to protect vulnerable children who make poor decisions. Whatever the case, exercise extra caution when driving in a school zone.

RHINO Lawyers specializes in moving violations of all kinds. We have 14+ years of experience and licensing in multiple jurisdictions. If you’ve got a big school zone speeding ticket, contact us for a free case review.


RHINO Lawyers can help and guide you through a system molded by law enforcement, judges, and lawyers for decades. Having won cases for our clients in similar circumstances, our criminal defense team knows what it takes to fight on your behalf.

Let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at (844) RHINO-77.