SPECIAL REPORT: Tracking down school zone speeders

Flashing lights warn drivers to slow down in school zones.

But, not everyone pays attention as one mother found out.

She had a close call walking her children to school.

FOX 7's Ann Wyatt Little rode along with an AISD police officer to track down drivers exceeding the speed limit in school zones.

Sgt. Travis Pickford scans south congress and it doesn't take him long to find a driver speeding by Fulmore Middle School and even another one moments later.

This area is considered a hot spot because there is a lot of traffic and it's a major thorough fair for people to get to work.

"The more people traveling through the area there will be a risk of someone not paying attention, running a red light or having children cross," Sgt. Pickford explains.

The patrols are a welcome sight for parent Kate Catterall. She uses the cross walk to get her daughters to Travis Heights Elementary School.

"Most morning people after the amber and trickle through but just last week someone went through at a high speed and we were already crossing and the light was red," Catterall says.

Catterall hopes to see drivers pay attention and slow down.

"I said girls if they had been here Thursday or Friday someone would have got a ticket for what they were doing; most scary half way across and someone comes through."

It's not uncommon to find someone driving 45 miles an hour through a school zone says Sgt. Pickford.

Since the city passed the hands-free ordinance, Austin ISD Police say it has helped crack down on those violations in school zones but it's still a problem.

"We have 126 facilities and the majority are elementary schools. We have 75 officers and we do our best to get out and cover school zones," said AISD Assistant Chief Chris Evoy.

So far this year, AISD police have issued 51 tickets for cell phone use in school zones and 19 speeding citations

With a month left of school left the district's department urges drivers to be aware.

"Children want to get to school and sometimes they don't pay attention and we have to make sure we pay attention."

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