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Mechanicsburg police want electronic speed signs near schools

The village of Mechanicsburg is raising money for electronic speed signs to combat a speeding problem near the schools.

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Police have written hundreds of tickets in the school zone in front of Mechanicsburg Schools on High Street, Mechanicsburg Police Department Sgt. Nickolous Black said.

“A lot of individuals that we’ve pulled over in the past always talked about well ‘I didn’t realize, you know my speedometer is wrong,” Black said.

School-aged children walk to school year-round if they live in the village, he said.

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Buses transport students who live outside the district. Some students are car-riders.

Students, parents, bus drivers and the school resource officer have complained about the problem, according to Black.

“At times, people are distracted these days. You know a lot of them we pull over tend to be on the phone talking to someone. I’ve gotten that a few times even in the last couple of weeks,” Black said.

Speeding usually occurs at the beginning and at the end of the school day when students arrive and when they leave.

Champaign County resident Bonnie Logan said the area is dangerous.

“I wouldn’t want my elementary student traveling” on High Street, she said.

The village likes to have officers present at every school zone but it is currently short-staffed. There are currently six full-time officers and at least 15 part-time patrolmen. The new signs will help curb the problem when they are not present.

“It’s going to flash up. It’s going to change. It’s going to have motion which draws human eye toward that sign. Then we are hoping even if they are on their phone, not paying attention to the speedometer, signs with that being visible, it’s flashing and the speed is changing all the time having motion,” Black said. “It’s going to draw their eyes up there. It’s going to cause them to realize.”

The village would like to purchase two, electronic speed signs that cost about $2,500 each to put in the school zones. That’s why the police department is holding a raffle. Tickets cost $10.00 and can be purchased from any Mechanicsburg Police Officer.

The drawing for the raffle will be Friday, Dec. 22 and 9 a.m. and winners do not need to be present. Prizes range from $500, a shotgun, a $200 Walmart gift card and a $100 Kroger gift card.

For more information on the raffle, contact the Mechanicsburg Police Department at 937-834-3303.

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