Howard Co. police plan heavy patrols near schools

As classes begin, department warns against speeding, driving around buses

Maryland News

August 22, 2005|By Winyan Soo Hoo | Winyan Soo Hoo,Special to baltimoresun.com

With classes set to begin next week, the Howard County Police Department today said it will again be working to raise awareness about traffic safety in school zones, focusing on enforcing speed, seat belt and child safety seat laws.

Implemented several years ago, the Helping Arriving Students Through Enforcement (HASTE) program involves targeted patrols on roadways surrounding elementary, middle and high schools for the first two weeks of the school year.

"We hope that police presence around the schools will send a message to drivers to slow down," Police Chief G. Wayne Livesay said. "Students throughout the region will be walking and driving to and from school and we want to make sure every one of them arrives safely."

In addition to radar, for the first time this year the department will also be using a camera to combat speeding in school zones. The camera, to be rotated among county schools, will be used to issue non-punitive warnings, with no fines or points attached.

Police will also check seat belt and child safety seat use.

The department reminds drivers to stop for school buses with red lights flashing. Violators face a $550 fine.

"This is a time of year when everyone should be especially cautious on the roads," Livesay said. "We are working to raise awareness and help avoid a potential tragedy before it happens."

Originally published August 22, 2005, 2:19 PM EDT

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