The Northwood Police Department has stepped up enforcement of the school-zone speed limit at the busy intersection of Woodville and Lemoyne roads.
Last week, to coincide with the first day of school on Aug. 18, speed cameras on either side of the traffic lights on Woodville Road began capturing motorists driving above 20 miles-per-hour during school hours.
While speed and red light cameras have been operating at the intersection for the last five years, they had been programmed only to record when motorists drove above the posted 35 mph speed limit. However, technology has advanced to allow the settings on the camera to change during specific times, Northwood Police Chief Thomas Cairl said. He said the changes were made as part of a recent contract renewal with the company that supplies the camera equipment.
The times when a 20 mph speed limit will be enforced from 7:15 to
8:45 a.m., and again from
2:15 to 3:25 p.m.
The Woodville and Lemoyne intersection is next to Northwood High School, Northwood Middle School, and Olney Elementary School.
Chief Cairl said the intersection is particularly busy because of the nearby schools and it serves as a major thoroughfare for motorists traveling from the east into Toledo and from Toledo toward Ottawa County. He said about 4 million cars go through the intersection yearly.
Fines for speeding are $115 for driving 1 to 10 mph over the speed limit. The fine goes up to $125 for motorists exceeding the limit by 11 to 15 mph, Chief Cairl said. Speed boards posted at either side of the lights help to remind drivers to slow down as they approach the intersection, he said.
During a two-week grace period in which warning letters will be sent out to speeders in lieu of citations.
Gregory Clark, Northwood Local Schools superintendent, said he was grateful for the city's stepped-up enforcement of the school zone speed limit.
He said Northwood teachers frequently remind students to be careful when crossing Woodville Road.
The superintendent said accidents involving students are rare, but a car hit a female student car at the intersection a few years ago. She wasn't seriously injured, he added.
Josiah Fox, a 15-year-old Northwood High School student who was crossing Woodville Road after school on a recent afternoon applauded the increased enforcement.
"I think it's a pretty good idea because you see drivers being kind of reckless," he said.
Middle school student Zach Pierce, 13, agreed. He said he sometimes worries a little when crossing the intersection because cars drive too fast, but, he said, "I've noticed the traffic's been better."
Crossing Guard Carmen McBride, who has helped children across the intersection for the last 13 years, said she's sometimes fearful of her own safety when trying to get cars to stop. She said she welcomed the new camera speed settings.
"For the most part, I think people are pretty good," Ms. McBride said. "But some of them, no matter what they see, they're not going to slow down."
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