In just three weeks, children will be headed back to school once again. Police are already mapping out their plan to crackdown on drivers speeding through school zones. Now, those officers are arming themselves with cameras to catch drivers red-handed.
"We want to make sure the students cross safely, cross at the crosswalks, and aren't in the roadway, says Sgt. Joe Curmode of the Columbus Police Motorcycle Unit.
Curmode says crossing guards do help in cracking down on speeders, but they'll get a lot of backup from Columbus Police, both in cars and on motorcycles. He says motorcycles are beneficial because they can park in tight spots along the roadway.
Nineteen officers are part of a unit that will help protect children at 200 Columbus Schools, as well as some schools in suburban districts that lie within the city's boundaries. Officers with hand-held radar guns will clock speeds and pull over drivers that go too fast.
Curmode says the unit’s primary focus will be on elementary and high schools along major thoroughfares where there is a high degree of walkers
Officers also will use three cruisers equipped with cameras similar to the kind that snap photos of cars that drive through red lights. Curmode says if an officer doesn't make the stop, speeders will get a ticket in the mail.
Whether the tickets come from the postal carrier or the cop at the scene, the Curmode says you won't be able to talk your way out of it. "If they get stopped by one of our officers - don't expect a warning. Expect a citation. We are a strict enforcement unit."
The sergeant says while not all school zones have flashing lights, they all have signs posted with the speed limit and the time it's in effect.