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'It's definitely a higher volume': Wheat Ridge police see more speeders in school zones

Wheat Ridge Police details uptick in school zone speeding
Posted at 10:12 PM, Sep 12, 2022

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Many children across the Denver metro have been back at school for nearly a month, and one police department has noticed an alarming trend when it comes to getting students to and from school.

"There’s lots of speeding up and down this street,” said Amy, a grandmother, as she stood on Garrison Street near a designed school zone for Stevens Elementary School. "We won’t let [the grandchildren] walk just due to the fact that there is so much speeding around here."

Amy's concerns come as officers at the Wheat Ridge Police Department report an uptick of speeding drivers.

On Sept. 4, an officer's radar captured a driver going 133 miles per hour on I-70 eastbound near Wadsworth Boulevard. Officer Donovan Reetz frequently patrols school zones and says speeding is happening there, too.

“You were going 40 in a 20. It's a school zone back there,” Reetz said in a body camera video captured on Sept. 1.

In the video, the driver can be heard saying, "I was trying to get them to school."

Reetz replied, "Don't you think hurrying to get them to school puts other kids at risk?"

The officer ultimately gave the driver a citation for her alleged speeding in the school zone near Peak Expeditionary School.

Similar circumstances were documented in at least two incidents captured on body camera footage obtained by Denver7.

"I think compared to years previous that I've done school zones, it's definitely a higher volume of people going a lot faster than normal," Reetz said. "There's been a big increase of people going 40-plus miles per hour."

Most school zones in Colorado have a posted speed limit of around 20 miles per hour.

"I write anywhere from 10, 15 to 20 citations a week," Reetz said. "Depending on the week, I can sit in the school zone for an hour and easily write four tickets, depending on the school zone and the day of the week.

"It's not about the citations. I'm raising awareness more than trying to penalize you, because it's safer for the community as a whole, especially our children."