|Updated: 8/17/2012 9:10 am
||Published: 8/16/2012 9:53 pm
You don’t want to kick off the school year with a speeding ticket.
“We have those kids loading up and we want them to be safe. That's our ultimate goal,” said Tulsa Police Traffic Officer Kerry Whitten.
With Tulsa Public Schools resuming classes on Monday, and other area schools back in session, TPD is out in school zones near Jenks schools trying to get drivers in the habit of slowing down.
The number of tickets in school zones more than doubled from 2010 to 2011.
In 2011, 2500 drivers were ticketed in school zones compared to 2010 when 964 drivers were ticketed in school zones.
Signs for 25 mph at the entrance of each school zone are posted.
Less than a minute after the school zone signs were activated near Jenks Southeast Elementary near 102nd and Yale, Officer Whitten pulled over a teen driver.
"The reason I’m stopping you is the school zone is 25 miles per hour posted. And you were doing 29. Were you aware of that?" asked Officer Whitten.
He said it doesn’t matter how close drivers are to the speed limit.
“School is back in session and we really need to watch our speeds," said Whitten. “We can't afford to have one of these kids get hurt."
Most of the drivers are paying attention.
"Most everyone is being good. You can tell they see me from a ways back," said Whitten.
However, there are other school zone hazards.
"They can't see him [crossing guard] until he steps out in the roadway," said Whitten.
The circle drive at Jenks Southeast Elementary where parents pick up their children was backed up onto South Yale.
"I'm going to have you move on. You are blocking this neighborhood traffic from coming in and out,” said Whitten to a driver.
One parent said her son would rather walk from school.
"The traffic does get really bad on the first day," said Kim Obermark.
One car that was blocking traffic coming from a home addition had traffic backed up to 109th on South Yale.
For some of the parents, the congestion is already getting on their last nerve.
"I'm so confused how the hell do I get my kid in south oval? Do you understand my child is waiting for me?” said a parent to Officer Whitten.
“I do understand. There is nothing I can do about it. I have to keep the traffic moving,” said Whitten to the parent.
Officer Whitten said he tries to be flexible.
"Our hands are just literally tied just finding a solution," said Whitten.
Meantime, police said drivers need to slow down and pay attention.
"Really watch it close. 25 means 25. All the way through because we have those kids loading up and we want them to be safe. That's our ultimate goal," said Whitten.
A speeding ticket in a school zone carries a $200 fine and you are ordered to court.