Police crack down on speeding in school zones. The number of tickets issued surprised even them.

Middletown police and Ohio State Highway Patrol have teamed up to crackdown on speeding in school zones around Middletown. On Friday morning, Sept. 21 Middletown Police officer Kim Robinson was out checking speeds on Breiel Boulevard in front of the high school and middle school. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Middletown police stationed officers to run radar last month in answer to complaints about drivers speeding in school zones, and the results surprised even them.

“We get complaints a lot about speeding in areas. Put the speed trailer out and an officer and write a few tickets. Nothing like this,” said Maj. David Birk of their most recent two-week blitz.

FIRST REPORT: Middletown cracks down on speeding in school zones

From Sept. 11-25, working only weekdays during school zone hours (6:30 to 8 a.m. and 2:15 to 3:30 p.m.), officers wrote 75 speeding citations, police told the Journal-News.

In a 20 mph school zone, officers found the average speed of drivers over the limit was 44 mph.

“Most were not going close to the speed limit,” Birk said.

Officers were stationed in 13 school zones throughout the city, and no “wiggle room” was granted if any drivers were caught speeding in a school zone, Birk said, adding that one driver traveling 21 mph was issued a citation.

“This is about the safety of children. People need to slow down,” he said.

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Speeding in a school zone is not only dangerous, but also pricey.

A normal speeding ticket in Middletown Municipal Court, for a first offense, is $25, according to Steve Longworth, director of court services. For speeding in a school zone, the tab goes up to $100. Both tickets also require payment of court costs.

Birk told the Journal-News that future blitzes are planned.

Middletown Schools’ 6,300 students returned to classes Sept. 4, later than all other Butler County public schools due to the district’s most expensive construction project in its history — a new Middletown Middle School and a renovated and expanded Middletown High School. The $96 million transformation was two years in the making.

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