Police warn drivers of school crossings

Published 4:16 pm Monday, August 12, 2019

By Jeremy Weldon

With the beginning of another school year for area students Wednesday, Batesville Police Chief Jimmy McCloud has a message for city drivers, and a warning for anyone stopped for speeding when children or buses are present.

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“I’m telling everyone from the start to slow down and be careful, and we better not catch you speeding in a school zone,” McCloud said. “Our officers know already to be watching these intersections close and if you get a ticket  for speeding in a school don’t bother calling me.”

McCloud said most Batesville drivers are attentive to school zones and crossing guards, but some still drive fast or distracted, especially trying to get their children to school on time. “In the past we have stopped people for texting and even putting on makeup while driving through our school zones. That is distracted driving and it will not be tolerated.”

“I understand makeup is important, but nothing is more important to the Batesville Police Department as the safety of our kids,” he said.

The key to safety for school children, McCloud said, is for parents to leave early enough to allow for slower traffic, and use extra caution when approaching areas with crossing guards. Speed, also, is the major factor. “A lot of wrecks wouldn’t be too bad except for the excessive speed,” he said.

In Batesville, most school traffic intersections are managed by on-duty officers each morning and again in the afternoons. McCloud said no officer has been injured by distracted or simply bad drivers in recent years, but there have been some close calls.

“We’ve had officers come back to the station after a crossing guard shift shaken up because there had been a close call and they were almost hit by a car,” he said. “That’s the reason we are going to be so tough. It’s too late to slow down after a policeman or a child gets hurt.”