Mishawaka, Ind. Slow down or face a ticket.
That's the message Mishawaka police officers will enforce on drivers this time of year, especially those approaching school zones.
Most students in Mishawaka walk or ride their bikes and streets are filled with 21 crossing guards in order to help kids along their route.
The guards also serve as bright markers to notify drivers of crosswalks.
Police officers say a huge part of avoiding school zone accidents is to keep your eyes off your cell phone and on the road.
“We do have a law that says you cannot text while driving,” explained Lt. Tim Williams, Mishawaka Police Department. “Put cell phones down all it is is a distraction. That half a second of distraction could be difference between life and death for children walking out in front of your and you're not ready for it.”
School City of Mishawaka Superintendent Dr. Terry Barker says many students walk to school.
“We only transport a very small percentage of students,” he said. “Mostly those that are special education, the rest of our students walk. We have about 5,0000 students so there’s a lot of kids out in the morning and with daylight savings it’s always going to be dark in the morning. We want to make sure we're watching out for them.”
Officers recommend allowing extra time if you commute in or near Mishawaka for other reasons besides traveling students.
They say multiple construction projects have drivers detouring all around the town.