Collegedale police strictly enforce traffic laws in local school zones

A sign warns drivers to look out for pedestrians by Collegedale Acade-
my-elementary. Tuesday, September 19, 2023. (Photo by Amanda Blake)
A sign warns drivers to look out for pedestrians by Collegedale Acade- my-elementary. Tuesday, September 19, 2023. (Photo by Amanda Blake)

Written by: Hannah Johnson

With school back in session this fall, the Collegedale Police Department (CPD) has begun diligently enforcing traffic laws in local school zones, including around Collegedale Academy institutions and Hamilton County public schools, according to a CPD press release. The police department has been reminding drivers to slow down and pay attention to ensure the safety of the city’s schoolchildren.

In an interview with the Accent, CPD Assistant Chief of Police Jamie Heath said, “We try to do our best to educate the drivers, young or old. The main point of traffic enforcement is to correct bad behavior. [We’d prefer] if we could do that with a conversation or a PSA ad on one of our social media sites opposed to a ticket.”

According to the press release, officers cited 59 drivers and issued 34 warning citations to speeders in the city’s school zones within the first four weeks of school. Officers also handed out 20 citations and written warnings to drivers who were using their cell phones while driving. Three citations/warnings were distributed to drivers not wearing seatbelts.

In the press release, CPD Chief Jack Sapp was quoted saying: “Our first priority in those school zones is the welfare and safety of your children. Regardless if you’re speeding, using a handheld device, or carrying drugs through these protected areas, my officers are keeping an eye out for you.”

To help enforce road safety, CPD officers are taking many actions, such as making face-to-face contact, posting PSA ads to the department’s social media accounts and working alongside the Tennessee Highways Safety Office. Every year, the state of Tennessee issues a grant to law enforcement agencies around the state, according to Heath. The main goal of this grant is to reduce crashes on Tennessee roadways.

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