The Marshalltown Police Division (MPD), in partnership with the Iowa Governor’s Site visitors Security Bureau, not too long ago launched a brand new undertaking to fight the unsafe driving practices in native college zones. The objective is to handle pedestrian security issues and common site visitors security.
Within the final a number of weeks, the MPD has acquired quite a few complaints about dashing and distracted driving at school zones all through the college district. In response, the division has assigned officers to site visitors enforcement duties within the areas with essentially the most complaints. On Dec. 13 after solely two hours, 32 site visitors violations had been recorded.
As a substitute of simply writing a ticket and sending the driving force on their means, the officers take these alternatives to coach them on the significance of driving safely when pedestrians are current, particularly in areas the place younger pedestrians are crossing roads.
“We positively need to stop tragedy, and we need to maintain individuals secure,” Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper stated. “So, we spend a variety of time speaking to individuals about why they should possibly change their habits.”
Tupper stated the MPD is observing individuals who drive by way of college zones at extreme speeds, and so as to add insult to harm, they’re typically utilizing their telephones whereas going too quick. Whereas younger drivers below the age of 18 are the probably culprits, it’s not an remoted difficulty: drivers in all demographics are responsible of distracted driving and pace violations. The primary objective of the initiative is to instill the significance of placing telephones down and obeying pace limits, not simply at school zones, however whereas driving wherever.
“I feel all through our society anymore, telephones have change into such an enormous a part of what we do daily. Sadly, too typically persons are utilizing these units whereas they’re driving. It’s actually not simply a youngster drawback,” Tupper stated.
Marshalltown Group College District (MCSD) Superintendent Theron Schutte has additionally been a key participant in efforts to reverse this troubling development. Within the final month, there have been three close to misses for college kids crossing the road at Fisher Elementary College, Franklin Elementary College and Marshalltown Excessive College.
“There’s heightened concern on the frequency of the complaints which have arisen,” Schutte stated.
A fatality close to Franklin Elementary College in Could of 2019 has heightened the sense of urgency round resolving the difficulty for each the college district and the MPD. Christian Maxon, a Franklin second grader, was crossing the road when he was tragically struck by a automobile and killed.
To make sure scholar security, Schutte stated many native colleges have crossing guards, who’re volunteers from the district workers. These attended crossings, nonetheless, solely make up a small portion of the overall variety of crosswalks within the space.
Along with crossing guards to assist decrease the chance of accidents, Schutte stated the MCSD studies any related site visitors violations, dashing, or distracted driving to the MPD.
“We work very carefully with regulation enforcement on these points,” Schutte stated.
Sooner or later months, site visitors security will stay a prime precedence for the MPD, particularly at school zones the place college students might be critically injured.
“We’re going to proceed to pay attention our efforts on college zones and do all the things we will in cooperation with the general public to maintain our children secure and to maintain the motoring public secure,” Tupper stated.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or