School zone speeders: Deterring dangerous driving in the Tri-State

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Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - State Road 261 in Newburgh has five schools in a two mile stretch.

The speed limit is 35, but Indiana State Police say it’s not always obeyed.

“We continue to be out here looking for dangerous drivers,” said Indiana State Police Sargeant Todd Ringle. “Those drivers that are holding their phones and so forth. But we want the motoring public to know that we are out here quite often and we need them to do their part and drive responsibly.”

A morning commute to work can be tiresome. It’s even worse when you get pulled over. With school back in session, police presence is higher.

“School zone safety is very important,” Sgt. Ringle said. “In this particular area, on 261, we have thousands of vehicles that drive up and down it in a two hour period.”

Sgt. Ringle has been with ISP for 37 years. He loves working traffic.

“I want to make sure that those kids get to school safely,” Sgt. Ringle said.

Sgt. Ringle tends to watch over State Route 261 in Newburgh.

It’s a busy commuter roadway, and with five schools and two daycares within two miles of each other, early mornings can pose a serious hazard.

“Kids are precious,” Sgt. Ringle said. “To me, in this particular area, we have thousands and thousands of kids that go to school each and every day.”

14 watched as Sgt. Ringle pulled over speeders and cell phone holders alike.

The common speed we witnessed was around 40-45 miles per hour. That means it can take your car 120 feet to come to a complete stop.

In the blink of an eye, a serious accident can happen.

“We know that distracted driving is dangerous driving,” Sgt. Ringle said. “When you’re in a school zone, we need you to be focused on your driving.”

Sgt. Ringle says his goal is to let the community know that they are there patrolling, keeping student safety in the forefront, and hopefully keeping drivers eyes on the road.

“To come out and work a couple hours in the morning to ensure their safety, that means a lot to me,” Sgt. Ringle said.

We were with Sgt. Ringle for about two hours and he pulled over five people. He said that is a below average day, but he considers every traffic stop an important part of keeping the community safe.