HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – While students in Hendersonville went back to school Wednesday morning, police officers were cracking down on drivers speeding in school zones.
The Hendersonville Police Department placed officers outside every school Wednesday morning, armed with radar guns and citation books.
Hendersonville Police Captain James Jones said, “We're there to provide a heavy presence on that first day of school, to remind everyone that school is back in session. The school zones are active, and students are in those areas. “
Officers say they strictly enforce speed limits in the school zones, which may vary from 15 to 20 mph.
They say won't give any warnings nor do they hesitate to issue a ticket to a driver just one mile over the limit.
Corporal David Holscher, of the Hendersonville Police Department, said, “If you exceed the posted speed limit, you are going to receive a citation.”
At the entrance to Indian Lake Elementary School, an officer stood with a citation booklet in hand, pointing to any driver going over the speed limit, asking them to pull over.
Another officer sat in a patrol car a mile up the road.
An officer was also parked in front of Nannie Berry Elementary and a sign on the street notified drivers exactly how fast they were going.
The surveillance that started on the first day of school is part of the city's participation in RSVP, which stands for Reducing Speed Violations Proactively.
The purpose of the statewide program is to reduce speeds and reduce the number of accidents.
It's been in effect in Hendersonville for much of the year and officers have issued more citations and more warnings than in years past.
Holscher says the program is having success in reducing speeds.
“They've slowed down significantly. We still have some folks who aren't complying but we're here waiting on them, and gonna have an opportunity to ask them to please slow down,” he said.
The heavier police presence in school zones will last at least a week until people are back in their routines of leaving for work earlier because of school traffic.
Even with the police presence Wednesday morning, police only wrote nine citations and most of those weren't for speeding, but for seatbelt violations.