Streets of Speed - San Benito school speed limit a 'false' sense of security

San Benito C.I.S.D police pull over their first driver since new speed limit signs were installed outside Leal Elementary School on South FM 732.

"The reason I pulled you over miss... You were going 48 miles per hour," Office Joe Mendez said.

Leal Elementary school zone in San Benito was made safer after TxDOT installed the signage late last week.

Michaella Carranco was the first to be zapped by campus police.

"This is my first time in this school zone and I didn't see any signs... It's the first time I'm on this road," she explained.

Irma Julian walks her grandkids home from the school.

She doesn't feel speeders, like Michaella, are necessarily at fault.

"They should have done it before they put the school," she said.

Irma's talking about the new posted speed limit.

It's the first visible school signage warning drivers since the campus opened in August.

Irma believes they TMre a false sense of security.

"We should have known in time... And the people would have paid more attention to it... But they don't pay attention to it... Because it was not here on time," she explained.

Adding insult to injury for those looking to keep kids safe, the new posted speed limit is an advisory speed.

That means drivers can still push 55 miles per hour without being cited by law enforcement for speeding.

The signage is meant to warn drivers to slow down, according to TxDOT officials.

The yellow advisory speed limit signs are often erected in areas where traffic is high and the need for an enforceable, reduced speed limit isn't warranted.

But Officer Mendez says he can still perform a traffic stop for people above the advisory limit to warn them about the school zone and to check for other possible violations like no driver TMs license or outstanding warrants.

Michaella doesn't get ticketed for speeding at 48 mph, but she does get a ticket for no proof of liability insurance.

Speedzapper: "Is there going to be a learning curve here?"

Officer: "There will be... We still need several more signs to be put up... And hopefully we'll get that as soon as we can."

Until then, Officer Mendez says the school can count on his department to continue patrol in the area.

Michaella says drivers can avoid problems by just "slowing down."

"You've been zapped," Irma said.

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