An increase in complaints leads to proactive message for drivers


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Law enforcement in Terre Haute are increasing their efforts to make crosswalks safer. This comes after multiple complaints by community members. They’ve witnessed drivers flying through school zones while kids are crossing.

Today, News 10 witnessed four to five cars fly through the intersection of 25th Street and Wallace Street within 10 minutes. This is where students at Sugar Grove Elementary cross the street.

“Our students and their safety and wellbeing we take very seriously,” said Sugar Grove Elementary Counselor, Jessica Flynn.

“People have been running that intersection and that’s what we’re afraid of, disregarding a sign and having a tragic accident with a child,” said Terre Haute Chief of Police John Plasse.

Plasse says they’ve received numerous complaints about drivers speeding through school zones lately. He says he’s heard from five or six different people this week alone, which is unusual.

Many school intersections have red flashing lights to signal drivers to stop. Lately, they’ve been ignored.

“Most of us have children and to be responsible for an accident because you were either in a hurry or not paying attention, and to number injury a child but to kill a child, that’s something you’ll never forget,” said Plasse. “You’ll have to live with that the rest of your life.”

Law enforcement in Terre Haute is asking drivers to be alert during the beginning the end of each school day. This includes 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

“It’s a short area. It’s a few blocks. It’s not going to make or break what you have to do that day,” said Plasse.

Officers instruct all drivers to slow down to 20 miles per hour in school zones. They also say to obey the crossing guard and be aware of surroundings. Drivers should avoid distractions like being on their cell phones.

All these guidelines are simply to make sure your kids get home safely.

“Students after school sometimes are having fun with their friends and not paying attention sometimes so always be alert to our little friends and children walking around the neighborhoods,” said Flynn.