Odessa Police Crack Down on Bad Driving Near Schools

ODESSA - Odessa parents will soon see more police officers patrolling their children's schools. A new task force is cracking down on drivers in school zones.

"Parents double parking, coming up pick up their kids. You've got kids that need to cross the street; you've got traffic that's just going either which way," Corporal Sherrie Carruth, with the Odessa Police Department, explained.

It can get pretty hectic for parents dropping off or picking up their children from school. On Friday afternoon, however, officers were handing out tickets at Travis Magnet School with zero tolerance for bad driving.

"It didn't just come up overnight," Carruth said. "We've had citizens out there complaining about this and in just about every school that we've got here."

Cpl. Carruth said the crack down is part of a joint-effort between city and school district police to go after anyone who breaks the law. You won't see them in patrol cars or even in full uniform, but the warning is there.

"What we want people to understand is don't just do it because there is an officer out there, do it because this is the way it's supposed to be done," Carruth added.

Police said letters have been sent out to parents letting them know about the extra eyes around the schools. They hope drivers will catch on.

"Bottom line is it makes the flow of traffic easier for you, and it makes it safer for the kids, and it makes getting those school buses in and out like they are supposed to," Carruth explained.

Police said this is the first week the task force has started to crack down in school zones. There are no numbers yet on how many tickets they handed out Friday, but they said they will continue to evaluate the results week per week.