Howard County police poised to step up traffic patrols near schools

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

Howard County police are gearing up for next Tuesday’s opening of school.

Officers will be assigned to roads near the county’s schools, enforcing speed, seat belt and child safety seat laws.

County police established a Helping Arriving Students Through Enforcement program 20 years ago to heighten safety, Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, said in an email.

In 2017, officers spent 149 enforcement hours on 59 roads, according to Llewellyn.

“We hope the police presence on the roads around schools will send a message to drivers to slow down,” Gary Gardner, the county police chief, said in a statement. “We want all students to arrive safely, whether they are walking to school or riding in a school bus or car.”

Speed limits range from 25 mph to 45 mph in school zones, according to Llewellyn.

Officers also will follow school buses to watch for drivers who fail to stop when a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing, according to police.

Officers issued 40 citations and warnings during last year’s program. Llewellyn did not have a breakdown of the violations by type.

Speed cameras will continue to be rotated between school zones. The registered owners of speeding vehicles are mailed citations.

Police officers also address student driver safety with mandatory traffic seminars for students applying for school parking permits.

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