Crime Watch 8

IMPD tells drivers to slow down, give others some room

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — During the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of drivers got used to motoring around Indianapolis on empty streets, but now people have gone back to work and school the streets are crowded again.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is getting an increase of complaints of speeding and reckless driving.

Capt. Fred Ilnicki of IMPD said, “Schools are back in session. Businesses are back open. Let’s throw construction on top of that, you know. It is really kind of of building to the perfect storm, and people have not yet overall adjusted to traffic behavior.”

Set up along West 30th Street in a school zone, a traffic enforcement event Tuesday morning netted dozens of drivers pushing the speed limit.

Officer Catherine Hedges, zapping drivers with her radar gun, found an example of the trend. “And what we are doing is today is a school zone and it is 25 mph and you were doing 45 mph,” Hedges said to one driver.   

Turns out the driver had never been issued a driver’s license and was not the owner of the car. The owner of the car had to come and get it. The unlicensed driver will have to explain why he was speeding and driving without a license to a judge.

The dangers of school zone speeding came to light weeks ago when crash near Indianapolis Public Schools’ George Jullian School killed 7-year-old Hannah Crutchfield and injured two adults.

“Honestly, we get a lot of complaints throughout the city,” the IMPD captain said

Ilnicki says the department is overwhelmed with speeding complaints. He says setting up temporary speed traps is not about generating revenue for the city, but they’re designed to get drivers’ attention.  

“It is going to be slowing down. It is going to be ‘put the cellphone down.’ it is going to be ‘pay attention to speed limit signs.’ It is giving grace to other drivers,” Ilnicki said. 

About a year ago, a distracted driver hit Hedges while on her motorcycle. The crash left her with a slight limp. She has been on the department for 25 years and the No. 1 issue she see’s today is the distracted driver.  

“Cellphones and social media, anything in trying to make a video while driving, that is a big issue,” Hedges said.

I-Team asked if there anything motorists can say to get out of tickets, and the answer was if the driver is facing a medical emergency. 

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