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Police crack down on dozens of drivers violating stop signs near elementary school

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Police are cracking down on drivers in Mishawaka after seeing dozens of cars roll through stop signs at an intersection just one block away from an Beiger Elementary School.

Neighbors in the area have voiced concerns about the intersection, especially when kids are going to and from school. The intersection doesn’t have a crossing guard, and is a two-way stop.

Now police are concerned.

“From what I saw today, we have a huge issue,” said Lt. Tim Williams with Mishawaka Police after spending the day Tuesday watching the intersection.

Lt. Tim Williams says police have worked to patrol the intersection in the past. He’s been out several times, but on Tuesday he saw what neighbors were concerned about.

“Today there was a lot of activity,” he said.

Tuesday morning about 35 went through the intersection from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. That’s during the time kids were walking to school.

“More than 58 percent of the people that came up to this intersection that were going south on Beiger Street did not stop for the stop sign,” said Williams. “We definitely had one that did not stop at all for the stop sign and another that just kind of tapped their brakes and went through.”

Of those 35 cars, only 13 did a proper stop.  

“Which means come to a complete stop, look both ways and then continue through the intersection,” said Williams.

He says those numbers are alarming, especially since the intersection is a popular area for pedestrians.

It’s worth noting that the School City of Mishawaka doesn’t have a busing system, so kids either have to get a ride or walk through these potentially dangerous intersections.

“We have so many children that walk to Beiger School which is just a block away from here,” said Williams. “My concern is when we have this number of drivers not doing what they need to do, that puts our children at risk.”

With a concern for children’s lives officers now plan to keep close tabs on this intersection.

“I’m going to have officers besides myself out here enforcing the actual violations and a lot of people are going to be stopped for violating the stop sign,” said Williams. “If we have to write a ticket to get the message across then we’re going to do that.”

As school let out around 3 p.m. Tuesday, Williams gave out two tickets to drivers he watched violate the stop. One of those he says almost caused a crash.

He’s also reached out to the city to talk about making the intersection a four-way stop.

 

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