By Elise Franco
Speed studies by Canfield police showed an increase in motorists and speeding during school months.
CANFIELD — City police say they are through with being lenient on speeders on residential streets.
Police Chief Chuck Colucci said if drivers break the speed limit, they should expect to receive a ticket, not a warning.
He said the city, as well as the school district, has received many calls from concerned residents about drivers going too fast down roads close to the schools.
“A huge problem is that on side streets around Canfield High School, we’re seeing an increased rate of speed before and after school,” he said. “We’ve been getting residents’ complaints, so we’re going to do an increased traffic blitz.”
Colucci said officers will increase presence on side streets close to the schools, especially on Brookpark, South Briarcliff, Neff and Skyline drives, Callahan Road and Hilltop Boulevard. He said these aren’t the only streets that will be more heavily patrolled, however.
“We do hear what residents are saying,” Colucci said. “We’ll do everything we can to slow speeders down.”
He said the police department conducted speed studies this past May, June and July, and concluded that traffic, as well as speed, was higher when school was in session.
“We had one student driver going 54 in a 25,” Colucci said. “A lot were over 40 miles per hour.”
He said this is a common trend, but so many residents called in their concerns that the police department had to respond somehow.
Canfield schools Superintendent Dante Zambrini said the district will work with the police department to remind students about safe and responsible driving.
“Our concern is for our student drivers who are young and inexperienced, and also for any community residents who may be walking in the vicinity,” he said. “It’s about educating our students about the best driving practices. This is not done to be punitive, but to raise the level of concern.”
Colucci said he realizes the problem doesn’t lie solely with student drivers. Zambrini agreed and said adults need to slow down as well.
“It’s not just the kids,” Colucci said. “It’s the morning and afternoon commute to and from work also.”
Colucci said tickets are expensive, and many students don’t realize that anyone under the age of 18 with more than two moving violations risks a license suspension.
“That includes speeding tickets and accident citations,” he said. “The base cost of a speeding ticket is $65, and it only increases from there.”
Colucci said he doesn’t want to issue more tickets, but his officers will do what they must to ensure traffic laws are obeyed.
“It’s not our goal to write tickets,” he said. “I’d rather them benefit from information and realize why they need to obey speed limits.”