South Bend Police setting up enforcement zones
Goal is to crack down on traffic violations, fatalities.
Tribune Staff Writer
SOUTH BEND -- Although police declined to say where they'll be setting up traffic enforcement zones, simply put: "You'll know if you're in one."
The city is enjoying one of its lowest levels of traffic fatalities ever because of increased enforcement and driver education programs, police say.
There's been only one fatality in the city limits in 2007, and there was actually, at one time, 368 days between them. There were seven fatalities in 2006.
Police are looking to help continue that trend during the next two weeks as they launch an intensive enforcement effort aimed at cracking down on drivers who speed, disregard red lights, violate the "No Turn on Red" or demonstrate any unsafe or reckless driving.
The enforcement, which begins today, includes eight specific days covering eight different locations -- or "hot spots" -- that are known for a high number of vehicle crashes and traffic violations.
"We're going to use quite a few unmarked or disguised units to do the spotting, and then marked cars will pull people over," said Capt. Phil Trent, a South Bend police spokesman.
The locations of the enforcement zones were chosen after analysis of resident and commercial complaints, accident data and other traffic surveys, police said.
"Anytime is a good time, but roads are so marginal in the wintertime," Trent said. "It's another reason to watch your speed and use more caution and safety when driving. One of the biggest causes of accidents is running red lights."
The lone fatal this year occurred Nov. 18 on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, when 27-year-old Danielle Jones of North Liberty was hit just west of the U.S. 31 exit. Witnesses said Jones was standing near her stopped vehicle when she and her vehicle were struck by an eastbound pickup truck. The driver of the pickup had a 0.15 percent blood-alcohol content, police said.
The blitz is being funded by state grants. Other local agencies also received money.
Staff writer Tom Moor: