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SPEEDERS BEWARE: City of Sanibel considers automated fines for a safer school zone

Posted at 6:32 AM, Mar 06, 2024

SANIBEL, Fla. — There's a push to improve safety near the Sanibel School right now. Cameras could be installed on Sanibel Captiva road and would automatically find drivers speeding in the area.

The Sanibel Police Department proposed the idea of the Automated Speed Detection Systems. The technology is capable of issuing $100 fines to drivers surpassing the speed limit by 10 miles per hour or more and comes after a recent study by SPD found nearly 1-thousand drivers speeding in the school zone per day.

"One of the big things is the school is right here, and they need to slow it down," shared Kim Eastman, a Sanibel resident.

Unlike standard speeding tickets, the fines from these automated systems during school hours, 30 minutes before to 30 minutes after, will not affect drivers' points on their licenses.

"It's like a red light camera ticket, same thing, it's not a moving violation, so it's not a pointable offense," explained Attorney David Haenel from The Law Place.

However, failure to pay the fine could lead to consequences, including suspension of the driver's license and issuance of a warrant.

Neighbors like Roland Schiff-Martini express strong support for the measure, "It's dangerous to speed, why should they speed?" he remarked.

How much will it cost? The implementation of the system won't cost the city of Sanibel anything. Instead, the vendor would receive a percentage of the fine revenue. The remaining funds will be distributed among the city, state, and Lee County School District, with portions allocated to a crossing guard program and Florida Department of Law Enforcement training. Vendors estimate an 85% reduction in speeding.

"It's such a beautiful island here, everyone's relaxed, and there's no reason to speed at all," added Schiff-Martini.

This isn't a done deal yet. Sanibel City Council will have another hearing on the system. If it's approved there would be a 30-day public awareness campaign to ensure residents are informed and prepared for the changes.