Traffic safety and schools

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by Sgt. Jim Dear, Scottsdale Police Department

azfamily.com

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 4:30 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 9 at 12:23 PM

Each school year the Traffic Enforcement Section is asked similar questions regarding the flow of traffic in and around schools. Here are some answers to the most common questions.

Why am I seeing police officers at all of the schools?
At the beginning of the school year the Scottsdale Police Traffic Enforcement Section deploys all available resources to enforce traffic laws around the schools. This is done solely for the safety of the children attending these schools. Officers concentrate on vehicles speeding and passing in the school zones as well as parking violations in and around the school.

Why do you issue citations to parents at the schools?
Police officers enforce traffic violations in the interest of public safety. Unfortunately the police department has observed that many of the violators around the schools are parents. A common causative factor for an unsafe traffic maneuver is that the parent is running late. We strongly recommend that parents give themselves plenty of time when leaving their house to safely drop off or pick up their child.

I left my car parked for a short time to walk my child to the classroom and when I got back I had a parking ticket. Why?
It is a critical safety issue that no vehicles be parked in designated no parking areas, especially in and around school. These areas are clearly marked by signs or painted curbs. The idea for a no parking area is to ensure that drivers can see children who are entering or leaving the school grounds. Leaving your car illegally parked for just a few minutes creates an unsafe environment that could lead to a child being run over by a driver who did not see them.

Why doesn’t the police department wait a week or two before giving citations?
Every traffic violation is unique and the officer may warn or cite violators based on the circumstances. Traffic infractions directly inhibit public safety and cannot be ignored by the police department. Citations are issued with the primary goal to change unsafe driving behavior. Citations document an unsafe driving movement. From there the violator can seek additional training by attending driving school. If they do not qualify for driving school, due to having received a citation in the past two years, then the state may evaluate their driving privileges depending on the number of points on their driver’s license. Either way, the general populace is better served by the officer issuing a citation rather than a warning.

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