More LPS students hoofing it to school this year; LPD to crack down on school zone speeding - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

More LPS students hoofing it to school this year; LPD to crack down on school zone speeding

Lawton_Getting hit by a car when crossing the street is the second leading cause of injury-related death for youngsters.  With school nearly in session - it's a daily danger.  Even more dangerous now that more than 1,500 Lawton students will be walking to school.  Police are cracking down on those who speed in school zones, and officers are doing all that they can to keep students safe. 

"Were you aware of the fact that you were in a school zone?"  These are words drivers don't ever want to hear - especially with the price they'll pay, or an ultimate price a student pedestrian could face.  "The minimum speeding ticket in a school zone can go from $240 - $480," says Lawton Police Lieutenant Richard Franz.  He says that drivers must always be on the lookout for kids walking on the road - but, especially next week when school is back in session.  Add to that the most recent changes in Lawton Public Schools (LPS) bus routes.  "That should put a substantial increase on students walking to school," he says.

The Lawton Police Department (LPD) is putting more patrol officers on the streets, but it isn't a zero-tolerance operation.  "Their focus during the first week or two will be the school zones," says Franz.  "We try to issue more warnings to keep people reminded of the fact school is back in." 

Look out for school buses, too.  They make frequent stops, and if you don't stop for them - both coming and going - it'll cost you at least $244.  Franz says the fines are high because the value of a child's life is unlimited.  "An 8-year-old kid versus a car, it's a losing situation for the kid," he says.  Fines in Altus and Duncan for speeding in a school zone are considerably less than Lawton's - just over $100. 

It's easier, cheaper, and safer to simply slow down.  The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that motorists should follow these safety tips:

  • Drive with your headlights on - even during the day, so kids can see you.
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of kids who could dart into traffic. 
  • Pay extra close attention in bad weather.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
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