More officers patrolling school zones as students return to school

Wausau Police say they made at least a dozen traffic stops Thursday, the first day of classes
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - More officers are patrolling in school zones to remind drivers to slow down as students head back to school.

“You know what’s significantly worse than being late for work? It would be hurting a kid,” said Deputy Chief Matt Barnes of the Wausau Police Department.

A sign reminding drivers to slow down is posted outside of Franklin Elementary School.

“Every time the first day of school comes around, the school staff and the principals get terrified,” said Deputy Chief Barnes.

So the patrol captain and deputy chief are hitting the streets to look for drivers who are speeding.

“The average individual isn’t thinking ‘this is the first day of school.’ So they’re driving in their normal driving patterns,” said Barnes.

The Wausau Police Department brought out their radar guns to perform speed checks to remind drivers to slow their roll in school zones.

“There’s a lot of kids walking here and the driving behavior needs to change,” said Barnes.

It’s part of the Wausau School District and police department’s collaboration to keep the streets safe.

“The speed limit is 15 miles per hour. We know that’s really slow, but it has to be that way to make sure our students are safe,” said Elizabeth White, the principal of Franklin Elementary.

The Wausau Police Department said it made about 12-15 traffic stops in front of Franklin Elementary on the first day of school.