LAKE PLACID, Florida -- A small-town Florida police department, tired of warning parents to stop clogging the road with school pick-up lines, said Tuesday it’s going to start writing $116 tickets if need be.
The Lake Placid Police Department says "NO PARKING" signs have been largely ignored.
"You may have noticed, yet some seem to be blind to them," the department posted on its Facebook page.
In the new crackdown, police vow to write tickets to anyone parking along Tangerine Boulevard more than 10 minutes before Lake Placid Middle School ends at 3:10 p.m.
"Enforcement is the only option remaining," the department wrote. "We have made recommendations, begged and pleaded, yet ... the problem still exists.
Within less than an hour of the post, people began to complain.
"What's wrong with allowing cars to 'stage' along the side of Tangerine ... let's talk solutions instead of threatening tickets and enforcement," Brian White said.
Jerny Redondo labeled it "poor civil planning."
Jim Stafford called it “a bureaucratic pissing match between the county, the city, and the school’s district.”
The school car line, though a modern phenomenon, isn’t new. Mentions of the practice began to crop up more frequently in popular culture in the late 1990s.
In 2003, the Tampa Tribune newspaper published a long report about the woes under a big banner headline “Parents Misbehave in School Car Lines.” The article recounted scenes still familiar today: parents cutting in line, holding up traffic by socializing, and trying to use unauthorized entrances; staffers using bullhorns to try to maintain order.
In 2013, Orlando Sentinel education reporter Leslie Postal summarized the most common car line etiquette fails, including “parents who stop the car and get out, have their children exit on the wrong side (creating safety hazards as well as traffic snarls) and seem to use the pick up line as the time to search for homework, lunches or shoes. There are also those who don’t follow the school’s rules, thinking they can enter and exit the line freely when and where they want.”
Down in Lake Placid, the police department is equally exasperated.
The department told the Orlando Sentinel that ticket writing will begin this afternoon for anyone in violation, if needed.
“Hopefully our posts make an impact thereby keeping us from having to do so,” the department wrote in a message to the Sentinel.
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