By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - With the school year winding down, Midland Police are dealing with more traffic problems in school zones and the surrounding neighborhoods. It's a problem they see every year at this time - students racing through streets and intersections.
It might be senioritis, or the anticipation of the school year ending, or even the excitement of a Spring afternoon.
Whatever the case, the traffic around Midland schools is certainly zipping by at a higher rate.
"Closer to the end of the year, the more anxious the students get," Sgt. Jason Lee, Midland Police said. "They get more excited for school to get out and they get in a hurry leaving school and they get heavy on the accelerator."
In fact, the danger level is so high, Midland Police are targeting streets around schools, hoping to catch speeders before they hit the school zone.
"Today we're out here to watch how fast people are going and get them to comply with the speed limit," Officer Aaron Smith, with the Midland Police Department, said.
It didn't take long for these officers to find students going as fast as 20 miles over the limit. In fact, within a few minutes, they wrote almost 15 tickets.
"It poses a lot of danger especially in residential areas like this," Sgt. Lee said. "You have pedestrians and they have small children playing in the yard."
"The potential there is very, very high for an accident," Officer Smith said. "A car vs. a pedestrian anywhere near a school is a bad thing. Even at slow speeds, a car vs. a kid - the kid always loses."
Midland Police tell NewsWest 9, graduation weekends are some of the most dangerous.
"Lots of traffic, lots of partying, lots of kids having fun," Sgt. Lee said. "Lots of traffic, lots of speed."
That's why they're stepping up patrol during the next few weekends adding extra officers who can patrol more of Midland's streets.
"We target problem areas we see, if we have complaints in areas, any open roads they tend to travel more on," Sgt. Lee said. "We start targeting those areas."