For the sake of kids’ safety, install speed-detection cameras in school zones | Opinion

I plan to introduce at the Sept. 6 Miami-Dade County Commission meeting an ordinance to implement state-approved speed cameras in school zones. The Florida Legislature passed the measure during its 2023 session, subsequently signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

I often hear from community members their concerns about vehicles speeding around our schools and the threat to children’s safety.

The goal of my proposal is to ensure kids’ safety as they head to and leave school, as well as protect teachers, crossing guards and all those who care for our children while they are at school. With this added layer of safety, we can cut down on the speeding violations in school zones that present a real hazard to children.

I will also present a resolution to expeditiously implement the school zone speed detection and enforcement system in Miami-Dade County school zones.

Speeding in school zones is unacceptable. We now we have a tool available that can help to reduce speeding in such zones and enhance students’ well-being across Miami-Dade County. We should implement this tool as quickly as possible.

The state speed-camera law authorizes counties to enforce applicable speed limits in school zones only during school hours through the use of a system that detects speeds in excess of 10 miles per hour over the speed limit; allows counties to place or install — or contract with a vendor to place or install — a speed-detection system within a roadway maintained as a school zone to enforce unlawful speed violations; directs counties to post signage indicating photographic or video enforcement of the school zone speed limits, clearly designating the time period during which speed limits are enforced using a speed-detection system and must meet the placement and installation specifications established by the Florida Department of Transportation; and requires counties that begin a school-zone speed-detection program make a public announcement and conduct a public-awareness campaign at least 30 days before commencing enforcement under the speed detection system program.

Because of the actions of our state Legislature and governor, we have this additional layer of safety with which to protect our children, and I’m honored to lead on this issue on behalf of the families of Miami-Dade County.

Anthony Rodriguez is vice chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission and is the commissioner for District 10, which encompasses portions of Kendall, Westchester and Fontainebleau.