Updated at 3:11 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3

According to APD, officers initiated 57 traffic stops during the school zone enforcement and cited 31 drivers. In some cases they say drivers were going more than 20 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. Police also are encouraging the public to report speeding to the APD Traffic Unit Tip Line at 907-786-8949.

Original story

Some Anchorage drivers are paying for their bad driving habits with steep fines after they were caught speeding in school zones. The Anchorage Police Department held a school zone speeding crackdown Wednesday all over Anchorage and in Eagle River.

Police said it was the first time the traffic unit has partnered with school resource officers on an enforcement detail. The department said the traffic unit is always looking for ways to have a large impact on traffic safety.

The police department invited KTVA 11 to come along on the crackdown. We ended up in a familiar place — Romig Middle School. We have captured numerous speeders in front of the school with a station-purchased radar gun. KTVA has videotaped drivers going 40, even 50 mph in the 20 mph school zone.

Police said it’s important to send a message to drivers about slowing down around schools and children.

“They’re all having fun. They’re not paying attention to traffic. And they’re playing around sidewalks, and the next thing you know they’re one or two steps out in the roadway,” said APD school resource officer acting Sgt. Mark Wells. “And you can stop a whole lot better at 20 miles per hour than you can at 30.”

Wells teamed up with fellow school resource officer Eric Pratt at Romig Middle School. Wells clocked one driver going 49 mph in the 20 mph school zone. When he was pulled over, the driver said he did not know he was going that fast, but admitted he needs to slow down.

Police said the fine for going 49 in a 20 mph school zone is $540. They say one mile an hour faster, and the fine would have been $1,200. Another driver, caught going 34 miles per hour, now faces a fine of around $270.

The police department will evaluate the speeding enforcement in school zones to see if it will have an impact on traffic safety.

KTVA 11’s Joe Vigil can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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