LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Nearly a month into the new school year, cars speeding through school zones are a big problem across Lawton.
From the beginning of September until the middle of the month, in just a 15-day period, the Lawton Police Department pulled over 139 cars for speeding through school zones.
Lieutenant Justin Thorne couldn't say if the number of speeders is unusually high, but said he would like to see that number go down.
"We ask you just obey the signs, if it flashes, obey it," Thorne said. "Some of the signs have times on them, if it's in those times please slow down. Most of the city has children or knows children, has family members in school. We don't want anything to happen but it is a large problem."
Thorne is in charge of the Traffic Division within the Lawton Police Department. He said his department responds to any accidents with fatal or serious injuries and works special events such as parades and festivals. But he said they spend most of their time out on the streets.
"If law enforcement wasn't out there, being seen making contact with people, the speed limit signs wouldn't mean anything if nobody is out there enforcing them," Thorne said. "They're there for a reason and it's for the safety of the individuals of Lawton and those passing on our roadways."
Thorne said with them constantly being seen with a car pulled over, people often misconstrue what exactly it is that they are out there doing.
"We're not out here just because we want to stop and make people pay citations," Thorne said. "Our job is to make sure we get people to obey those ordinances. We're not out here to harass anybody, we're out here to make the city streets safer for you, for your children."
While police cars are the traditional form most of us are used to seeing, Thorne said more and more the department has been turning to a different way of protecting the public…motorcycles.
"We can get into areas that some of our full-sized vehicles can't get into, we can maneuver through traffic if we need to make contact with somebody or to get to a collision scene," Thorne said. "A lot of times everyone is looking for police cars; they're not necessarily looking for motorcycles. So we can have a more effective traffic enforcement with a motorcycle."
Lawton Police will be utilizing motorcycles more in the future, as they purchased two new motorcycles last year that they expect to arrive soon.