Speed Busters gets results, just ask Pasco teen

Makayla Trowell

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — News Channel 8 Reporter Leslee Lacey has been exposing speeders on your streets every week. It’s important to give credit where credit is due, so Leslee is sharing some of the results.

These are just a few examples of how local authorities have responded after Tampa Bay area residents contacted Leslee about speeding concerns and she took those issues to authorities.

A vehicle lost control along Moog Road, then barreled through a yard and hit a bicyclist. That’s when Jackie Lilly contacted Leslee about the speeding issues along Moog Road.

The hit-and-run driver smacked into Lilly’s truck while it was parked in her front yard. The truck acted as a barricade and wound up protecting her home. Leslee had received other reports of speeding in the Holiday area along Moog Road, so she asked the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office if they could conduct a directed patrol on the road. The sheriff’s office responded and Deputy Morell and Leslee speed busted together, with Morell handing out tickets.

In Brandon, residents complained to Leslee about speeding on Bryan Road near Brooker Elementary School, which by chance, was where Leslee attended school as a child.  When Leslee spoke with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, they said they were familiar with it being a hot spot. So, Leslee joined them and they ticketed several vehicles for speeding on the 35 mph road. Many vehicles were caught driving at speeds over 45 and 50 mph.

Leslee said her favorite Speed Buster was her very first. Makayla Trowell was a student at Crews Lake Middle School at the time and was worried about speeders near her school.

After Leslee’s visit, Makayla wound up getting the changes she requested in front of the intersection at Shady Hills Road and Softwind Lane.

When Leslee followed up and met up with Trowell again, she asked her, “We are at the same spot we were a little while ago but there are some changes now.”

Trowell answered, “Yes there is now a 15 mph flashing school zone, with a sign that says fines are doubled. Which is a very big accomplishment and exactly what I wanted.”

Aside from bringing those requests to Pasco Traffic Management, Leslee also researched the crashes at the intersection, and brought Trowell’s wish for a traffic signal to be installed at the crash ridden intersection to PTM. They conducted a study and installed the light.

“It was kind of actually a joke. When I wrote the letter it was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna write to News Channel 8, ha ha,’  and then when you responded I was like speechless.” Trowell told Leslee.

Trowell even had the honor of flipping the switch on at the new traffic light during a ceremony where she was celebrated for her community efforts to improve safety.  “I never really knew how big my voice could be until I actually used it. And I’m now looking at results that are amazing.”

Leslee asked her if she was now going to go into politics, and she just smiled and laughed.

If you have a problem with speeding in your area and are willing to go on camera about it contact Leslee on her WFLA Facebook page at @WFLALeslee or on her twitter account @lesleelacey and she may be able to bring Speed Busters to your neighborhood.

Follow Leslee Lacey on Facebook

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