When the yellow caution lights went on Thursday morning, a half dozen Biloxi police officers took their positions and aimed their radar units at traffic on Pass Road near Rodenberg. That stretch of roadway just outside the Keesler Gate is among the busiest school zones in the city.
Thursday was the first day of school in Biloxi, and police officers wanted to make sure drivers paid attention to the 15 mile-an-hour limit.
Officer Bryan Vincent says safety is the priority concern.
"What makes it so dangerous is you have the little kids that walk because there's really no sidewalk in front of this car lot here, so they walk right along the edge of the road," Vincent said.
As youngsters walked along busy Pass Road the first day of school, Biloxi police stood by to make sure drivers were aware that school was back in session.
"Slowdown and pay attention to the children. Even if you're not in a school zone. If you see children walking alongside the roadway, just slow down and pay attention, because kids usually aren't," advised Officer Tom Goldsworthy.
Officer Bryan Vincent kept one eye on his radar unit while watching oncoming traffic. Moments after the school zone caution lights went on, the officers got busy.
"How you doing ma'am? I'm officer Vincent with the Biloxi Police Department. I stopped you for doing 31 in a 15 school zone. I need to see your driver's license."
The scene was repeated over and over. Officers wrote 27 speeding tickets in just 50 minutes.
"You were doing 31 in a 15. I need to see your drivers license."
Drivers on the way to work, get an unpleasant surprise. Goldsworthy says most drivers are simply not watching the road carefully.
"Inattention. They've got their mind going to work or someplace else. And just not paying attention to the roadway."
The school zone at Pass Road and Rodenberg is among the longest in the city. It begins west of Rodenberg and extends all the way down to near Iberville. It is also among the busiest traffic wise, and that adds to the safety concerns for the children.
Along with writing tickets, officers talked with the children on their way to school.
"You need to stay out of the road when you walk to school. We don't want any of y'all to get run over."
Police also remind drivers to simply slowdown.
"I'm Officer Vincent from the Biloxi police department. I need to see your drivers license. You were doing 26 in a 15 mile an hour school zone."