Heightened Traffic Enforcement conducted by Johnson County High Schools


Caleb Chacon, Writer

From Feb. 20 to March 3, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has conducted increased traffic enforcement near high schools to raise awareness of roadway safety. 

The enforcement is part of a regular schedule for the traffic unit, where different laws are targeted to encourage safer driving.

“Our traffic unit will just pick different events now and then,” officer Quentin Locke said. “You’ll see them do seatbelt enforcement and then they’ll do DUI enforcement. This is just one of the other things that they do around the high schools.”

Different high schools are selected each day during the enforcement in which police are checking for any violation occurring near the school. 

“It is usually only two or three traffic officers that are out either running radar to catch speeders, or they’re looking for seatbelts,” Locke said. 

Roads near high schools often include many new student drivers, who might still be inexperienced in driving. 

“I think, when you have new drivers, they’re obviously still trying to figure out just the finer points of driving,” Andy Falcon said. “And then, when you factor that in with if they are driving distracted, if they are looking at their phone, social media or texting or whatever, I can see where that would be an increase.” 

The pedestrians near the school are also a major concern. Olathe West has several crosswalks across its high-traffic roads that fellow students use to get to school each day. 

“Just pay attention, kids can pop out of nowhere,” Locke said. 

But being aware of drivers as a pedestrian is just as important, even if a crosswalk has its lights on.“It goes both ways,” Falcon said. “Make sure you’re making eye contact with that driver before you step out.”

Awareness of others on or near the road is an issue that the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department hopes to bring to light with traffic enforcements like these. 

“It never hurts to look twice,” Locke said. “Make sure that there’s nobody there because, obviously, it could save a life just to take that extra second to make sure you look twice.”