Extra patrols in school zones

By: Ryan Famuliner Email
By: Ryan Famuliner Email

As hundreds of students are about to hit the books, Michiana police prepare to crack down on reckless drivers.

Tomorrow is the first day of classes for many area students, and officers say they plan to increase patrols near schools to keep kids safe.

The South Bend Police Department will be focusing a lot of their time this week on school traffic safety during rush hour.

Police say they increase patrols during the first week of school every year to try to avoid accidents as busses - and children - make their way back onto the roads.

Officers will be looking for specific violations as they watch the roads around schools.

Police are looking for people speeding in school zones, violating "no turn on red" signs, ignoring directions by crossing guards, illegally passing stopped school busses and not driving defensively near school children.

Officers say this is a good way to remind people to watch out for kids on their way to and from work.

“Just to give everybody that reminder again that school's back out, we've had a nice warm summer and the kids are going to be full of energy and running around. so we just want the drivers just to pay special awareness in the school zones, and even into the neighborhoods, where some may be walking,” said Captain Terry Young with the South Bend Police Department.

Police say the purpose of the increase isn't to hand out a lot of tickets - many drivers will just get warnings - it's mostly to make people realize school is back in session.

Police say one of the biggest problems is when parents drop their kids off for school in unsafe areas near traffic.

So, parents should make sure their kids are hopping out of the car in a safe spot.

“A lot of the parents just don't follow the instructions that the school sends out, and that can create a lot of problems because they're dropping some off in the middle of the blocks. We don't want the kids crossing in the middle of the blocks, we don't want them running out in between school busses and things to get to a car picking them up,” Young said.

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