Cheyenne police patrol high offense school zone areas

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CHEYENNE, Wyo.- With more than three weeks into the school year, Cheyenne police say they are still monitoring school zones to watch out particularly for drivers speeding and passing stopped school busses.

Officer Kevin Malatesta of the Cheyenne Police Department says the number of citations has decreased since the first week, but it's still an issue they monitor at schools each day. Malatesta said, "It's something we deal with every day."

Malatesta let NewsChannel 5 go along with patrol officers early morning, September 14, to watch out, specifically, for drivers passing stopped school busses at South High and Goins Elementary. The two locations are prime spots where the offense occurs regularly, according to CPD. Within the first five minutes of arriving to the location at South High, Sgt. John Gay pulled over a driver for the violation.

Ana Sanchez, who is a Cheyenne resident living near Goins Elementary, says she and her mother commonly see drivers speeding through school zones. Sanchez says they plan to put out a sign to remind drivers of the slower speeds around the elementary school.

Sanchez says she's only seen a few cars passing busses, but says it's still an issue for a child's safety.

To help reduce the problem, LCSD1 school busses have recently been equipped with cameras to monitor violations. Bus drivers can report the offense to police and the camera can catch not only the vehicle, but sometimes the driver, as well. Malatesta says the goal is to reduce these violations with the cameras, but says it's too early at this point to see if there's been a decrease since their addition.

The fine for passing a stopped school bus can reach up to $400. From 2015-'16, the number of citations has almost doubled according to Cheyenne Police.