Do speed patrol’s trigger Pinecrest school zone lights?

The in basket: Don Cocks of Bremerton wrote on Nov. 2 to say he had driven by Pinecrest Elementary School on Pine Road “between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. every Monday through Thursday for the past several

“I noticed the school zone lights are flashing at this time whenever the sheriff is doing speed enforcement with either an unmarked car or by motorcycle,” he said. “The lights are not flashing when there is no speed trap set up.
“For the past week,” he said then, “the lights have been not flashing and there has been no
speed trap (school has been in session). I know this is a money maker for
the county as they usually have a car pulled over whenever I drive by and
the lights are flashing (the car is always going northbound, down the  hill).”
Don asked “Is the Sheriff’s Department allowed to turn on the school
zone lights whenever they want to do speed enforcement or are they only
supposed to be turned on at set times determined by the school?”

Even before Don wrote, I had wondered about those flashing lights. I regularly passed by that school one day a week between 3 and 4 p.m., when I would expect the lights to be on, but they never were. I asked Don’s question of Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s office.

The out basket: Scott replied, “KCSO does not control the flashing school zone lights at Pinecrest Elementary School or at any other school in the county.

“Flashing school zone lights are controlled by Kitsap County Public Works.  The school districts coordinate with Public Works to set the times on the school zone flashing light systems for each school.  These flashing light on/off times can be adjusted to suit school district requirements.

“Federal and state requirements dictate that law enforcement agencies conduct school speed zone enforcement patrols. The sheriff’s office complies with these requirements as resources are available, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

“We don’t have enough traffic enforcement deputies to patrol all schools in the county.  Traffic deputies conduct speed zone enforcement around schools that have a significant number of students who walk to school and/or those schools that are located on county roads with a high volume of vehicular traffic.

“Pinecrest Elementary School happens to be one of those locations,” Scott said.

I tried to see if Pinecrest officials had anything to add about when they want the lights to be blinking, but I didn’t get a call back before they closed for the holiday break.

2 thoughts on “Do speed patrol’s trigger Pinecrest school zone lights?

  1. For years, PinCrest had a half day kindergarten which dismissed at the time when the lights would flash. However, the school has only full day kindergarten. This may or may not be the reason, but it is likely.

  2. I seem to remember, there was some controversy over the KCSO using law enforcement explorer scouts as bait to give school zone tickets at all hours of day or night. This was a few years ago, before the school got the flashing lights, and the school zone speed limit was in effect “when children are present”. Rumor has it they would park out there in the late evening, when you wouldn’t expect children to be present, and have the scouts stand next to the road, and pop drivers for the school zone violation. If true, sounds like KSCO is up to the same sort of tricks

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