Police Target Lawbreakers in School Zones - 8 News NOW

Police Target Lawbreakers in School Zones

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NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Police officers were out in force near school campuses Monday as students headed back to the classroom from their holiday break.

Officers are targeting jaywalkers and drivers speeding near schools.

"Children are unpredictable. They may cross the street in places they are not supposed to. As a motorist, if you are driving slow enough, you should have enough time to react to stop the vehicle before you hit them," said Chrissie Coon, North Las Vegas Police Department.

North Las Vegas and Metro Police joined forces to patrol school zones around the valley to make sure drivers -- especially parents -- were following the rules of the road.

"We have had parents who tried to show their children how to jaywalk across the street," Coon said.

"Lot of parents just jaywalk across the street right there and that's what I don't' like," said parent Jessica Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said she has even witnessed parents speeding.

"It seems when parents drop their children off, their brains leave their car with the child," said Erin Breen, Safe Community Partnerships.

She is part of a statewide task force pushing for new laws to make school zones safe. The proposals include making U-turns illegal in school zones and increasing penalties for drivers that overtake another vehicle at a cross walk.

"That's the most dangerous action there is for a pedestrian, that false sense of security that one car stopped for you. It's exactly what happened to Mia," Breen said.

Six-year-old Mia Decker was killed after being hit in a crosswalk in October 2011. A driver didn't see her crossing the street with her friends.

"Take more time, leave the house a little earlier in the morning and take extra time," parent Mary Brooks said.

Less than one week into 2013, there have already been three pedestrian fatalities in Clark County.

Eighteen-year-old Jesse Hill was hit and killed by a car that drove onto a sidewalk in North Las Vegas on New Year's Day. His 16-year-old girlfriend remains in critical condition.

With the help of LVMPD and CCSD PD, officers wrote over 375 citations. The most common violations were speeding and failure to yield to a pedestrian.

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