ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new school year is officially underway for Dougherty County students.
Albany police are urging drivers to slow down in school zones, and officers are pulling over anyone who doesn't.
Police said their main focus is keeping students safe.
"If nothing else, we want to give parents that peace of mind that when I let my child leave home that morning, that they're going to be safe," said Lt. William Dowdell.
Tuesday was the first day of school for Dougherty County students. Officers checked school zones looking for speeding drivers.
It wasn't long after the school zone on Gillionville Road went into effect, that an officer was pulling over a driver for going above the 25 mph school zone limit.
"You've seen the stops, one behind the other, no sooner before he can get the car in park and set up, that he's catching another violation," said Lt. Dowdell.
Dowdell said the department wants to prevent another tragedy. It's been almost a year since Antonio Shed Junior, 9, was hit and killed while walking to school near Five Points last September.
As a whole, the Albany Police Department issued 20 citations and four warnings Tuesday. They checked four different school zones including those along Gillionville Road, Dawson Road, West Oakridge Drive and East Oglethorpe Boulevard.
Dowdell said he hopes that sends a strong message to other drivers to slow down this school year.
"We want the parents and the drivers to be more aware, pay more attention, reduce those speeds, and look out for the small ones that are crossing," he said.
On Wednesday morning, they gave out 11 tickets and four warnings.
Dowdell said he thinks people are being more cautious this year.
"We're actually impressed so far. This year the motorists are actually paying attention and driving more defensively and actually reducing their speed," said Dowdell.
Fines are doubled for drivers caught speeding in a school zone.
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