With school starting in the area on Tuesday, local police departments are ramping up patrols to help keep kids safe in school zones.
The Eau Claire Police Department will be stepping up patrols between the hours of 7:15 and 10:30 a.m. and between 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The patrols are scheduled to run through next week in the North, South, and West districts, with the possibility of more patrols after that.
Patrol Officer, Cole Conway, says that the police are not looking to trap people, but rather educate them.
“Pretty much what we’re looking for out here is speeding,” said Conway. “Now that school is starting back up, people are probably still not used to traffic zones or school zones, so the main goal of this is to essentially educate people.”
Police officers say the new initiative is to help educate drivers, to remind them school is back in session, and to reinforce the laws in school zones.
Public Information Officer, Bridget Coit, says that it is important that drivers remain attentive behind the wheel.
“It is very important that our drivers, this week and throughout the school year, remember to really slow down, take your time, yield to those pedestrians,” said officer Coit. “Even if there is not at a designated crosswalk drivers need to pay attention to school zone signs.”
Coit says while Water Street doesn’t have school zone signs for UW- Eau Claire; drivers still need to slow down and watch out for pedestrians.
“We do hear a lot of public concern throughout the year from drivers and pedestrians about concerns of crossing the roadway, whether or not it is being crossed safely,” said Coit. “So we’re going to be looking for all of that.”
Patrol officer Conway says reminding people school is starting again helps drivers get back into good habits.