Cops cracking down on speeding in school zones

STATELINE (WIFR) -- As teachers welcome kids back inside the school police were outside reminding drivers to slow down in school zones.

A new year, a new change. Now when kids leave Whitehead Elementary and Flynn Middle schools, a crossing guard is watching.

"Our kids were almost hurt and we're not going to do it this year," Heather Vecchione, mother of two boys, said.

Vecchione and other parents pushed the city for a cross guard. She says drivers use Ohio Parkway as a drag way.

Speeding is also a problem outside Windsor Elementary and Harlem Middle School.
Loves Park Police say this week they've ticketed drivers for going 52mph and 47mph in the 20mph school zone.

"It’s way too fast. It’s way too fast anyway for the normal speed limit that is 30," Loves Park Police Sgt. Lori DePauw, said.

Even an accident at 30 miles an hour can cause serious injuries to kids crossing the street. Nearly three years ago two teens were hit by a car when they were in the crosswalk, leaving them with internal injuries, broken bones, and bruises.

Police are doing extra patrols this week in Rockford and Loves Park, reminding drivers of the rules in school zones. The speed limit is 20mph when kids are outside.

"The crosswalk the kids always have the right of way. You absolutely have got to stop when there are kids ready to cross," Sgt. DePauw said.

As Vecchione has already found on this first day of school even a crossing guard can't stop everyone.

"We caught one car going around the crosswalk when a car was turning into Whitehead," she explained.

Officers say this week their focus isn't giving out tickets, it's getting drivers to slow down. Most are just given warnings.

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