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School speed limit changes without warning, resulting in tickets

The+speed+limit+on+Garber%27s+Church+Road+is+now+25+mph+during+the+times+of+6%3A45+a.m.+to+9%3A25+a.m.+and+2%3A05+p.m.+to+4%3A45+p.m.+as+opposed+to+the+original+35+mph+speed.
The speed limit on Garber's Church Road is now 25 mph during the times of 6:45 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. as opposed to the original 35 mph speed.

The speed limit on Garber's Church Road is now 25 mph during the times of 6:45 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. as opposed to the original 35 mph speed.

Noah Siderhurst

Noah Siderhurst

The speed limit on Garber's Church Road is now 25 mph during the times of 6:45 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and 2:05 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. as opposed to the original 35 mph speed.

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It was the day after the speed limit dropped down to 25 on Garber’s Church Road, the road that runs alongside the school. Senior Rebekah Vaughan was driving home from school when she saw blue lights flashing in her rearview mirror.

“I didn’t really know that the speed limit had changed, but there was nothing I could do about it,” Vaughan said.

Before she knew it, the officer had pulled her over. However, because the speed limit had just changed, Vaughan was hopeful that the officer would be at least somewhat lenient. That was not the case.

“He was just like, ‘do you know how fast you were going?’ I said, ‘yeah.’ Then he was like, ‘do you realize it’s 25?’ and he said they just changed it. Then he gave me the ticket,” Vaughan said.

About $200 is the amount Vaughan now owes, but she thinks she may have a way to mitigate the damage.

There are three ways that speeding tickets like Vaughan’s can be paid, presuming that the person getting the ticket pleads guilty (admits to not following the road laws). The first is to simply pay online. The second is to pay by mail. And the third, the option Vaughan chose, is to pay in court.

Before coming to this conclusion, Vaughan had to do research. She did some digging in public records and found that the officer who pulled her over writes many more tickets than almost any other officer.

“I talked to another officer, and he said that since [the officer who pulled me over] gives so many tickets, [the court date] is probably just going to be [as follows]: everyone who was given a ticket by this guy stand up, [this] is you what you did wrong and you can leave,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan’s court date hasn’t happened yet, but if everything goes as planned, she won’t get any points on her license and will only have to pay court fees instead of the full $200 fine.

Nevertheless, her insurance cost will go up, and there’s always the issue of parents.

“My mom was like, ‘it is what it is, you just have to pay for it. Do better next time,’” Vaughan said.

Of course, from Vaughan’s point of view, the whole situation wouldn’t even have occurred if she had known that the speed limit was changed.

The purpose to me would not be the tickets. The purpose to me would be making sure we’re safe. ”

— Mike Eye

“I think I would have figured it out, but he pulled me over before I even saw the sign. I think we should [have gotten] warnings for the first week or so until we knew that the speed limit [had gone] down,” Vaughan said.

Assistant principal Mike Eye mirrored that sentiment.

“I’m hoping [the police] warned early, the first couple days, but I don’t know that,” Eye said.

At least for Vaughan, though, that didn’t happen.

To some extent, the school administration was caught slightly off guard by this too.

“I didn’t know about it until the day it happened. The police officer stopped by and… let me know that this was going into effect the next day. I made the announcement so teachers and any students in the building would know about it, but it was after school had let out,” Eye said.

The next day on announcements another PSA went out, but Vaughan didn’t catch it.

“They said it on the announcements, but I was studying for an Arabic quiz and I wasn’t really thinking in English,” Vaughan said.

Eye, as well as anyone else, not just students, has had to be mindful of the new change as well, even if that means setting his cruise control to be certain he’s not going too fast.

“It doesn’t work really well because you have to be doing at least 25, so if you’re doing 24 it won’t catch. I’m just aware of it and do my best to abide by it as well,” Eye said.

In any case, Eye believes that there is a greater point in this besides just giving students tickets. With the new elementary school comes young children, many of whom walk along the road.

“The purpose to me would not be the tickets. The purpose to me would be making sure we’re safe,” Eye said.

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Every person has a story.
School speed limit changes without warning, resulting in tickets