Police increase focus on child safety, careless driving around schools and buses

Jim Cunningham
November 05, 2018 - 5:48 am

Law enforcement officers around the country say careless drivers are putting children at risk in school zones and bus stops.

Five children were killed in separate incidents last week in Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Closer to home, Prairie Village Police Officer Tanner Swope said he and his colleagues are still writing tickets, three months into the school year.

KMBZ's Jim Cunningham had a ride-along with Swope and asked him about the most common excuse he hears when he stops a vehicle.

"Typically it's, 'I didn't realize I was going that fast,' that's the one I probably hear the most," Swope said. A lot of drivers tell him they are in a hurry to get someplace.

Distraction is a factor, with drivers failing to stop at stop signs and flashing lights, or ignoring them altogether. Officer Swope stopped three vehicles in the 30-minutes he conducted radar enforcement near Corinth Elementary. One driver was clocked at 42 in the 25-mile-per-hour zone. 

Just as the ride-along was wrapping up, Swope received a call about a child on a bicycle who was involved in a collision with a vehicle. No one was hurt. 

Officer Swope said drivers need to know the inherent dangers around schools and buses, and they need to watch out for the young riders.

"The kids, a lot of times, they should be paying attention, but they're not," Swope said. "They'll get off the bus, and then they'll run across the street. We just don't want kids to get hurt, and we don't want kids to get hit by cars," Swope said.

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