INDIANAPOLIS — Vehicle accidents in Indianapolis have seen an increase in 2021, that's according to IMPD. In response, they're stepping up patrols, making themselves known, and pulling people over who are driving recklessly on the roads.
Tuesday morning, police were posted up at the intersection between 30th and Tibbs, and they're stopping drivers who speed in a school zone. Just weeks ago, a seven-year-old girl was hit and killed by a driver while she crossed the street at a school crosswalk with her mother in Irvington.
“It’s horrific for families involved. It is absolutely horrific for the people involved in the crash themselves, but I’m also sensitive to the fact that being a father and now grandfather, also as well as being a police officer; for the officers, it’s also equally as bad,” Captain Fred Ilnicki said. “You take that with you.”
Over a period of six days last week, from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23, IMPD spent nearly 69.5 hours doing traffic enforcement in school zones, made 281 stops, issued 36 warnings and wrote 376 citations.
“The kids safety in school zones, that is of high importance,” Ilnicki said. “But for somebody who lives in a neighborhood that people are rolling a stop sign, that’s important for them also. So we don’t want to diminish that either. We do prioritize the best we can because we’ve only got so much manpower. We need to look at the traffic complaints we have and prioritize.”
Ilnicki explained that after a year of less traffic on the roads because of the pandemic, and now with people back to work, back to school and back to traveling, drivers need to slow down and be more patient.
“The fact that we were losing any lives at all, and to lose the life of any child or individual for someone breaking the law is unacceptable,” Joanna Franklin, Crooked Creek Alert Chair said. “We want that stopped. We want the city to support. We need a council to get behind us doing whatever it takes. Although we’re grateful for what they have done, we need more.”
Crooked Creek Alert is an organization that represents neighborhood associations, residents, schools and churches from 38th Street to 96th Street, and Spring Mill to Georgetown Road. She said she’s tired of seeing so many deadly crashes, caused by people speeding dangerously.
“We need the city to support whatever it takes to get this stopped,” Franklin said. We have too many people who are being run off the road, we have such reckless driving, and they think it’s a joke to ride in and out in and out in and out.”
She supports the police in whatever they can do to make it stop.
“The whole goal is not the ticket," Ilnicki added. “The whole goal is we want the community to be safe.”
To report a traffic complaint and ask for more patrols in an area near you, visit indy.gov. There is a link where you can report an issue anonymously. You can also cite the specific location, time of day of the issue and as much information for police to respond to as possible.