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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

COVINGTON, La. - The dismissal bell at St. Paul's School in Covington rings at 3 p.m. every school day.

But after that, neighbors say the sounds of reckless driving and speeding echo through the surrounding streets.

'I think once they get away enough from the school, they decide to step on the gas,' said neighbor Aimee Harris.

Neighbors say they've complained to the school, and administrators say they have teachers periodically monitoring the students' exits. They often stress to the boys about safe driving.

'We're dealing with teenage boys,' said St. Paul's Assistant Principal Trevor Watkins. 'It's an annual challenge as, particularly, as kids get their licenses every year.'

Police have also taken in complaints. Covington Police Department Chief Tim Lentz said the department has responded by placing one or two officers in the area, when available, to issue citations.

And they do. Police say they've given out around 40 tickets for speeding and running stop signs around the school since January. Of the violations within the school zone, which is 15 mph, the speeds range from 27 to 36 mph. Outside the school zone, where the speed limit is 25 mph, speeds have been clocked as high as 40 mph.

'We encourage police to ticket them, we encourage neighbors when they call to call the police with any information they have,' Watkins said. 'If they have a description of the car or license plate number, we take action with the boys.'

Neighbors say they do notice a difference when monitors and police are present, but they'd like to see it more frequently to keep up safety for the neighborhood and the students.

Police say the places where most of the citations were issued were at 8th Street and Jahncke, as well as, 14th Street and Jefferson.

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