Police increasing patrols to keep students safe

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – As children head to school for their first day, Lafayette police said they will be working to make sure children get there safely.

“You’re going to see kids on the sidewalks,” said Lafayette Police Officer Mark Roberts. “They may be riding their bikes on the edge of the street. They’re going to be out there.”

Roberts said they will be increasing patrols around school zones to make sure drivers obey the speed limits.

“It just gets people back in that routine of knowing that they need to be aware of how fast they’re going,” said Roberts.

During the school year, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., the speed limit in each school zone drops to 20 mph.

Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Les Huddle said although the schools do their part teaching students how to stay safe while traveling to school, the increased patrols help remind drivers that school is back in session.

“We hope that it will serve as an awareness that school is back in session and that we need to obey the traffic signs, and we need to obey the speed limits,” Huddle said.

Huddle said it’s important to be aware of children waiting at bus stops, those walking to and from school, and to always stop when a school bus has its stop arm extended. He said keeping children safe is a group effort.

“I think it’s the role of everybody in the community — not just the school personnel, not just the police and law enforcement officers to make sure it’s safe,” said Huddle.

Lafayette School Corp. starts Tuesday. Although it may be days before school zones speed limits are enforced, Roberts said it’s important to become familiar with these zones now and prepare to take it slow when you’re in a school zone.

“If you’ve got to be at work, maybe give yourself an extra ten minutes and expect a little more traffic in the school zones,” said Roberts.

LSC will not be the only schools with extra patrols. West Lafayete Community School Corporation begins in one week. West Lafayette Police Capt. Gary Sparger said schools will have multiple officers patrolling the zones making sure children stay safe.

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