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It's the first week of school in Bryan and College Station and authorities say some motorists still aren't obeying the rules of school zones. And the number of tickets given this school year is on its way to being higher than last year.
Precinct 4 Constable Isaac Butler is on a mission to keep kids safe as they travel to and from school. That's why he'll be staked out in school zones on the lookout for speeders.
"We work the school zones because we had a problem in this area last year and what I tell the citizens when I stop them is if you hit a kid, just imagine that's your kid trying to cross the street," said Butler.
But police visibility doesn't always seem to do the trick. Constable Butler has already issued over 20 tickets in this busy school zone on Beck Street since school started on Tuesday."
Last school year precinct 4 issued about 200 tickets for school zone violations. This week alone 35 tickets have been handed out.
Last year in College Station, 2,062 tickets were given for school zone violations and so far this week 60 citations have been issued.
While Bryan police issued nearly 400 school zone tickets last school year and only about a dozen so far this week.
Law enforcement officials say it's already chaotic when kids are trying to cross a busy intersection or riding their bikes along the road. Add speeding to the mix, and you get a dangerous combination. That's why police have a zero tolerance rule when it comes to traffic violations in school zones.
" In a school zone, I think the warning is not a stiff enough penalty. I think they need a ticket to be aware of the school zones. We're out here trying to save lives. Just imagine you hitting a child. That's something you can't get over," said Butler.
Authorities say despite what drivers may think, they're not in it for the money, but hope a strong presence will make school zones safer for children this year.
School zone citations come with a hefty fine ranging from one-hundred to $300 and passing a stopped school bus carries a fine of $500.
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