Tucson police looking for drivers behaving badly near schools

Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 9:21 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson police are busting drivers breaking the law in school zones and KOLD caught it all on camera.

Police say that the areas near schools have become an issue over the past few weeks. Several neighborhoods have reported bad driving and people not following the laws when dropping or picking up students at school.

Tucson Police Department Sgt. Bill Brunell said too many parents are ignoring the "NO PARKING. NO STOPPING. NO STANDING" signs.

"The reason for the signs is just to have traffic flow a little better and be a little more predictable," Brunell said. "If signs say 'No U-turn' then someone makes a U-turn, that's not predictable.

Police want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drop students off across the street from schools.

"It is a little dangerous for them because they have to work their way through the cars," Sgt. Brunell said.

Motorcycle police say illegal U-turns have recently become a big problem as well. Officers would catch more drivers breaking the law, but there simply aren't enough police to keep up.

Sgt. Brunell said, "There's so many elementary schools and middle schools across the city and there's just not enough of us (police) to go out to all of them."

KOLD went undercover with TPD to see just how badly drivers behave when they don't know they are being watched.

"As soon as the officer presence shows up and the parents know that we are here, even the crossing guards will tell us, 'OK, now everyone is behaving because you are here.'"

TPD tallied 50 drivers breaking the law in 45 minutes at Alice Vail Middle School on Tuesday morning.

For the past few weeks, officers have been giving warnings to drivers, but now time is up and police will be handing out tickets. A ticket for not obeying the law in a school zone ranges from $200 to $300 depending on the infraction.

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