Police increase patrols as school begins
State police are cracking down on speeders as a new school year gets underway.
Books open and badges close ranks. From Fishers to Westfield, Indianapolis to Anderson and across Indiana police and even fire departments are keeping eyes on school zones and bus stops as schools open.
"We just got an anonymous citizen call reporting speeds on Olio Road in a school zone," Fishers Police Officer Jamie Jones said.
So with schools letting out after their first day, Jones headed that way.
"We want to make everybody aware, because not everybody has kids, school is back in session," Jones said.
Eyewitness News was only around Hamilton Southeastern High School with Jones for a short time when his radar detects a speeder.
"37, that's not horrible," said Jones. "But enough to stop someone and talk with them."
All day, all summer long, speeds along Olio Road were 40 miles per hour. But with the start of school, drivers need to adjust to a 30 mph speed limit from 7 a.m. thru 4:30 p.m. In some school zones, the top speed may be 25 mph.
One motorist Jones pulled over said "I was a little frazzled. My daughter got off the bus early. I had to get him to a doctor appointment."
"I understand, just be a little more cautious," Jones told the woman.
She promised she would.
At the same spot minutes later, Jones spins his car around.
"I bet this kid just got out of school," he said.
He clocked the teen driver at nearly 20 mph over the speed limit in a school zone.
The high school student asked Jones about his speed.
"49?" he asked.
"Yeah," said the officer.
"Well I spaced the school zone because of summer," the student said.
"That's what I'm out here for, man," Jones said.
The officer says that's a common excuse at the start of school. We saw three speeders stopped within a few minutes and that was just by Jones.
"There's a school bus," Jones says, as he pulls into a neighborhood where he wants to make sure motorists are stopping for school bus flashers and stop arms. Failure to do that could get you arrested.
"Making sure the kids are getting across the street before the cars take off," he said.
In Westfield, firefighter John Barrett tells motorists "when a school bus stops, you have to stop with it. On both sides of the road. Let the children get out and move safely around."
The department deployed fire trucks to busy school bus stops to give motorists a visual reminder that school kids are crossing streets and exiting buses. One mother, Angela Martinez, was meeting her child at the bus stop.
"We've almost had several kids hit over here, so it's really good that they're doing something for the community and the children," Martinez said.