Mesa Police Department "Back to School" Traffic Safety
Efforts a Success
August 27, 2012
The Mesa Police Department Traffic Section
credits saturated patrols and partnerships with School Resource
Officers and school personnel for a safe and successful start to
the 2012-13 school year. Mesa and Gilbert Public Schools resumed
classes August 8th. Gilbert Public Schools has several campuses
in the Mesa city limits. Several charter schools began classes
as well. No serious traffic related incidents were reported.
The Mesa Police Traffic Section's efforts began before the
start of school. Several hundred crossing guards received
education and training instructed by Mesa Police motorcycle
officers. The training was hosted by Mesa Public Schools and was
attended by crossing guards from several school districts. Mesa
police have a long standing working relationship with Mesa
Public Schools and Gilbert Public Schools. Mesa Police School
Resource Officers worked with MPD traffic personnel to provide
information on historically problematic areas. Traffic personnel
were deployed based on information from the Mesa School Resource
Officers and historical analysis.
Mesa Police traffic officers conducted saturated patrols in
school zones and surrounding neighborhoods. Officers used both
enforcement and education as means to assist with providing a
safe commuting environment for students, parents, and school
personnel. In addition to writing citations to violators,
traffic officers worked with school personnel to improve traffic
flow. Record high temperatures and increased enrollment at
several schools created numerous safety issues related to
vehicles dropping off and picking up students.
Citations were issued for speeding, passing in school zones,
failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and parking.
Illegal parking in crosswalk areas creates a safety issue due to
reduced visibility of students and crossing guards. Despite
numerous signs, parents parked in prohibited areas to pick up
students. One driver was cited for failing to stop for
pedestrians after she was observed by a motor officer driving
through an occupied crosswalk while looking at her mobile phone.
The woman told the officer she never saw the crossing guard or
the numerous school children crossing the road when she drove
through the crosswalk. The officer was on a fully marked police
motorcycle on the same corner when the woman went through the
crosswalk. Distracted driving contributes to numerous fatal and
serious injury accidents nationally.
Funding for the saturation patrols was provided by the
Governor's Officer of Highway Safety. Funding was used to
provide additional hours of patrol by traffic section officers.