Grinch patrols traffic in Florida Keys

MARATHON, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — Motorists who slightly exceed the speed limit through selected school zones on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway during the holidays might merely get an onion from the Grinch instead of a costly traffic citation.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Col. Lou Caputo donned the Grinch costume Tuesday afternoon and stood beside deputies as they aimed a speed radar gun at motorists traveling by a Keys elementary school.

Caputo says he portrays the fictional character created by children’s author Dr. Seuss to give motorists a “gift” but also to emphasize obeying speed limits in school zones.

“We want people to be aware they’re in the school zone and there are dangers with our kids out in school and we don’t want them at risk,” Caputo said. “So slow it down when you’re in a school zone.”

Drivers caught who travel about 5 mph or less above the school zone speed limit have their choice of the onion or a ticket.

Those speeding beyond that likely get a citation.

Caputo and Sheriff’s Office deputies have been staging Grinch speed enforcement details in selected Keys school zones for about 15 years.

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