Oak Park Police increase presence as students return to school
With the new school year about to get underway, Oak Park Police are preparing to ramp up enforcement efforts to protect the many students who walk and bicycle along community streets to and from neighborhood schools.
Additional enforcement efforts are planned at key crossings and along popular walking routes. Officers say they will strictly enforce stop-sign and moving violations, especially during weekday mornings and afternoons when students are most active.
Plans also are in place to use uniformed School Resource Officers and marked vehicles near schools as high-visibility deterrents to inappropriate driver behavior.
“Ensuring Oak Park students can walk and bike safety to and from school is a priority,” said Police Chief LaDon Reynolds. “But enforcement can only go so far. The real key is motorists. They need to say alert and focused, and avoid distractions like talking or texting on cell phones.”
Reynolds said drivers that do not come to complete stop at intersections or block crosswalks can expect to be ticketed.
Drivers also must obey the signals of crossing guards and should never attempt to pass a stopped school bus with lights flashing, he added.
Enforcement plans include an increased presence near Madison Street where a major construction project is now in its final stages and may impact popular north-south student walking routes.
In addition to monitoring traffic movement on Madison Street, Police say they also will be patrolling nearby streets like Jackson and Washington boulevards that motorists may use to avoid the construction zone.
For more information on the Oak Park Police Department’s school programs, call 708.386.3800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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