Syracuse Police cracking down on school zone speeding, passing buses illegally

Drivers tracked speeding more than 20mph over limit

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Nearly two months into the school year -- the Syracuse Police Department has received several calls about drivers speeding in school zones and passing school buses stopped while picking up or dropping off children.

Two of the school zones, Syracuse Police Officer Lonnie Dotson says are the most troublesome are near Lincoln Middle School on James Street and on the city's Northside near LeMoyne Elementary School.

"For any neighborhood, there's pedestrians, there's bicyclists, just to be aware that there's actually a potential hazard," Dotson explained. "People crossing the street, bicyclists are using the roadway so we want to be courteous to everyone and get everyone home safely."

Dotson says drivers shouldn't be worried about getting a ticket -- they should be focused on avoiding a crash with another car or potentially hitting a child or anyone else crossing a street.

NewsChannel 9 joined Officer Dotson on a school zone patrol on James Street for about a half-hour. Within minutes, Dotson spotted drivers speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the posted school zone limit of 25mph. 

Some drivers slowed down when they saw Dotson, but others kept pressing on the gas.

For some drivers, Dotson says it's more than just speeding hazards officers watch out for.

"Sometimes you do get both," Dotson explained. "You get motorists that are on the cell phones or texting and of course if you're doing that you're distrated and can't pay attention to your speed."

Dotson says children and adults walking along the roadways or trying to cross the street need to be cautious as well.

"It's a two-way street," Dotson said. "Everyone needs to be aware."

Although Dotson says police do look for drivers to be even more cautious, especially when young children may run out into the road.

"A 2,000-pound car traveling at 30 miles per hour that's a  lot of energy coming down the road...with kids's definitely a cause for injury," Dotson explained."

Dotson says that anyone who sees someone speeding in a school zone or passing a school bus illegally, should call Syracuse Police at (315) 442-5130.

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