Bentonville Police Start Traffic Enforcement Operation Near School

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM)-- After receiving multiple phone calls from concerned parents, the Bentonville Police Department decided to start an operation to crack down on careless drivers.

BPD Community Officer Gene Page said the the area is growing.

He called that growth good but explained it does bring more traffic.

Page said one of the areas that has changed a lot is the neighborhoods situated beside the school.

A trend the police are seeing in that area is more children walking to school instead of being dropped off.

“Maybe if you were dropping your child off for the last couple of years, you may not have noticed that but now the schools… it’s filling up around that, we’re going to have more pedestrians," Page said. "So we’re going to kind of have to change some things.”

One of those changes includes the operation.

Currently the department has one officer out at the school every morning directing traffic.

Page said with the operation, they will have more officers at the location on random days to keep drivers in check.

He said there are two big issues they are having with drivers.

The first is when a person is on their phone phone and behind the wheel.

Whether it's texting or talking, Page said to put the phone away when driving in a school area.

The other issue is speeding.

The department gave parents of students at the school a flyer to inform people about stopping distances.

Page said to be aware of how fast the car is going and to give plenty of room to stop especially when pedestrians are present.

One mother said she thought the operation was a great idea in keeping her first grader safe.

“It more just makes me comfortable that there is an awareness about it and that they are taking steps before there are any accidents," Helen Burch said.

Page said there is not a set time frame that the operation will last.

The department just wants to make sure people are following the rules of the road when driving around children.