When more than 40,000 Howard County students stream into parking lots and across crosswalks for their first day of class Monday, police will be using radar guns and watching for reckless drivers nearby.
At a news conference yesterday, police and county officials announced plans to beef up patrols near 14 schools each day, covering all 65 schools over a two-week period. The roving officers will be looking for drivers speeding through school zones or zipping around school buses.
"We have kids who have never been to school before," said Pfc. Paul Yodzis, a traffic officer. "People need that reminder to always be careful, especially when schools are back in session."
Police Chief Wayne Livesay said he hopes his officers are not forced to write more tickets.
"We hope the publicity will help get people to slow down so we don't have to stop them," Livesay said.
The State Highway Administration will post 30 signs near schools that urge motorists to buckle their seat belts.
Five people have been killed on Howard County roads this year; 18 died in accidents in 1997.
School officials said 37 new school buses will have flashing strobe lights attached to swing-out stop signs on the driver's side. It will take about 10 years to outfit all 334 buses with the lights, officials said.
Pub Date: 8/19/98