Lakeville covers a very large geographic area and there is still quite a large area of land that is actively farmed in the central and eastern portions of the City. It is rare to have any calls related to agriculture for our officers, but occasionally we do respond to agriculture related calls.
One night this week, Officer Josh Berkebile responded to a single vehicle crash on Flagstaff Ave. between an SUV and a cow. When Officer Berkebile arrived on the scene, he found that the vehicle had sustained significant damage when it struck a black steer that had wandered onto the roadway. Fortunately, the driver was uninjured in the crash. Officer Berkebile was able to locate the owner of the cow.
START OF SCHOOL
With the beginning of September, the Minnesota State Fair concludes signaling the official end of summer and we all start thinking about fall activities. One of the biggest changes for us at the police department at this time of year is the start of the new school year.
The traffic patterns change significantly in the morning and afternoon hours as school buses travel their routes through the city. You can see a noticeable increase in the traffic at intersections and on the roadways for short periods of time around the schools as school buses and parents drop off and pick up students.
To help remind motorists of the increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the schools, we increase our presence of marked police vehicles patrolling during the morning and afternoon rush hours. In addition, we focus our traffic enforcement efforts around the school zones during the times when the students are being dropped off or picked up.
This year, traffic moved efficiently and safely on the first day of school. There was only one minor property damage crash reported, which occurred almost directly in front of Sergeant Jim Puncochar’s squad.
We can all help contribute to traffic safety around schools. As a motorist passing through a school zone during the morning or afternoon hours, you need to be vigilant as a driver and completely focused on your driving. The reduced speed zones around schools alert drivers not only of the presence of school buses, but also students walking and students riding their bicycles to and from school. Reduce your speed accordingly and be alert. It is a good idea to remove or shut off all distractions before your car leaves the driveway. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes.
If you have children who are walking or riding their bicycles to school, it is a good idea to go over the pedestrian safety rules and make sure that they know where and how to cross a roadway safely. I often recommend to parents to walk one day to school with their children to make sure that they are taking the safest route and following all the safety rules. By staying focused as motorists and training our school age children the pedestrian and bicycle safety rules, we can help to make every trip to school safe for students this year.
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 6, 2012
Traffic crashes: 11 Alarms: 31 Animal Calls: 26 Medical Emergency Calls: 30 Thefts: 27 Traffic Stops: 211