Burns Harbor Police
Chief Mike Heckman said the number of tickets the BHPD had to give out last
month was “literally atrocious.”
Heckman reported at
last night’s Town Council meeting that of the 34 violations Duneland police
forces found on their recent increased patrols for school bus safety, nine
were in Burns Harbor. Eight drivers were cited for bus stop arm violations,
and BHPD got one driver on a misdemeanor offense of passing a school bus
“For our small
community, that’s pretty high. For one subdivision, it’s outrageous for
people to be doing that,” Heckman said.
Town Attorney Clay
Patton made a reminder that drivers in all lanes must stop for a
school bus on sections of U.S. 20 that aren’t divided. Per state law, all
traffic must stop for school buses on highways that have no medians,
regardless of which side of the road the bus stops.
Hackman reported he
has also increased patrols in response to resident complaints of people
blowing stop signs and speeding in the Village and Trail Creek subdivisions.
In just four hours on Burns Blvd. in the Village, Heckman cited 16 drivers
for stop sign violations. “And these weren’t rolling stops. I’m talking
about tap the brakes and go,” he said.
Heckman said he
patrolled from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. to catch drivers
being unsafe while kids were going to and from school. After he cited those
first 16 drivers, he stationed four officers in the Village for the
following two weeks and contacted the State Police to have them help catch
speeders on U.S. 20. Hackman said he instructed BHPD officers to be
“robots,” and give out tickets to anyone who does something to warrant being
stopped. Trail Creek is next up for the increased patrols.
speeding and stop sign violations aren’t just bad in the Village and Trail
Creek either: “It’s bad in every section of Town.” Other departments will be
encouraged to come out and patrol in Burns Harbor if the problem continues,
were at last night’s meeting with concerns about traffic safety. Village
resident Sarah Oudman thanked the BHPD for increasing patrols and putting in
a lot of effort while they have a limited force.
who lives near the newest stop sign in Trail Creek said Amazon Prime drivers
and construction workers especially seem to ignore the speed limit and blow
stop signs. He added that his wife yelled at one driver who ran a stop sign,
and the driver actually made a U-turn “just to come back and say some nasty
things.” Heckman said BHPD has identified the owner of that vehicle, though
it was being driven by someone else at the time of the incident, and BHPD is
on the lookout for it to come back through town.
As for what
residents can do when they see violations, Heckman said, “We can write a
citation on your word, but you need to be willing to go to court when the
A young Trail Creek
resident, Mae Burnside, asked to address the Council and said she sees lots
of drivers disregard stop signs while she’s playing outside with her friends
and neighbors. “People don’t stop even though they see three-and
two-year-olds,” Burnside said. “Sometimes I yell at them, and they don’t
even care because I’m little.”
Kevin Tracy and Heckman told Burnside the BHPD is going to make people care.