ROCKFORD (WIFR) – As the Rockford Public School District wraps up its third day of a new year, police are sending a message to drivers to slow down.
Rockford Police say the area near Charles and 11th Streets is a problem, which is why officers are conducting a speed enforcement operation. They say they’re concerned about students safety when kids have to cross the busy street.
Whether it’s by mistake, or intentional, most of us have sped before. William Pollitt says speeding is a big problem on Charles Street. He lives across the street from Lincoln Middle School where the speed limit is 30mph, however Pollitt says drivers go much faster.
“By the time they come past my house, they’re going at least 50 and it doesn’t matter even when school is in session,” says Pollitt.
Police are trying to slow down drivers before and after school by showing up.
Rockford Police say they’ll set up speed enforcement operations throughout the year at different schools, not just Lincoln.
Lincoln Principal, Jason Grey requested more officers after seeing distracted drivers this week.
“This morning I was out there and I noticed a lot of people I think going downtown on their way to work. Everybody is drinking coffee and flying through, I don’t think they’re paying any attention,” Grey said.
Seeing police will likely get their attention as well as these flashing speed signs that were installed about three years ago.
“A lot of times people don’t realize there’s a school and kids crossing so I think that kind of grabs their attention, they come in and see the flashing speed sign,” said Grey.
Police are also on the watch north of Lincoln in the area of Charles and East State Streets. That’s a busy area where police say people are trying to cross the street.
If we’re caught speeding a Rockford school zone, it’s a minimum $150 ticket. It’s about $30 more than speeding in a non-school zone.
Using a cell phone, even a hands-free device, is illegal in a school zone and if you’re caught, you face a $75 fine.