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A summer of quiet residential streets has given way to hundreds of school-aged children heading to bus stops and school yards all over town as back to school is in full swing in Shelley and other area communities. With the 'increase' of bicyclists and pedestrians, Shelley police officer Robert Tincher warns drivers that there better be a 'decrease' in speed.
There are all kinds of safety issues that come with back to school, but Tincher said the biggest problem continues to be speeding in residential and school zone areas. He added, "These days, a speeding ticket will hit you hard in the pocket book to the tune of $156; that's $1.50 more than an excessive speed ticket."
"The majority of the tickets I write out are for speed," Tincher said. "Kid safety is our top priority and even going as little as 5 miles over the speed limit can slow your reaction time if a kid were to run out in front of you."
The number one excuse I get from drivers when I pull them over is, 'I'm in a hurry.' Everyone needs to give themselves plenty of time to get where they're going. Speed can kill and whatever the hurry...it's not worth dying over."
While Tincher serves the citizens of Shelley, his advice is appropriate to drivers throughout Bingham County, the state of Idaho and the nation at large.
A recent statistic put out by AAA's annual "School's Open-Drive Safety Campaign" states that 71 of Idaho's pedestrian crashes last year involved a youth 19 or younger and nine out of every 10 of those collisions caused some kind of injury.
"The number one excuse I get from drivers when I pull them over is 'I'm in a hurry,' " Tincher said. "Everyone needs to give themselves plenty of time to get where they are going...speed can injure and kill...and whatever the hurry, it's not worth dying over."
Officer Tincher and AAA also remind drivers to ditch distractions (such as texting and talking on the phone), stop for the school buses, and watch carefully for students and safety patrollers at the crosswalks.