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The Sarpy County Traffic Safety Task Force — consisting of three Sarpy County police departments, the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office and local State Patrol troop — makes traffic stops Tuesday in Bellevue where Harlan Drive meets Highway 370.

Law enforcement is giving an appropriate boost to traffic enforcement in Sarpy County. The county has had 18 traffic-related deaths so far this year, compared with 10 during the entirety of 2018. One of the deaths this year was of 10-year-old Abby Whitford, struck at the 84th Street crosswalk in downtown Papillion.

Five agencies participated recently in a joint traffic enforcement operation on State Highway 370. The effort involved 14 officers and patrol vehicles from across the different jurisdictions to pull over speeding drivers.

The aim, Chief Deputy Greg London of the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office noted, was to encourage responsible driving. “It’s not about writing tickets,” he told The World-Herald’s Jeffrey Robb. “It’s about education.”

Education, as in getting drivers to slow down, stop at red lights and be more attentive to their surroundings — all are needed habits given the high traffic volumes on so many Omaha-area streets.

The traffic enforcement initiative stemmed from a September meeting that brought together representatives from the Bellevue, Papillion and La Vista Police Departments, plus the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol.

Upcoming enforcement efforts are planned for this month and November, with one in Papillion, another in La Vista and a third along Platteview Road. Future efforts may focus on particular issues such as school zones, pedestrian crosswalks, a street with a speeding problem or red-light violations.

The troubling increase in traffic fatalities warrants this practical response. Let’s all be more mindful of responsible behavior when we’re on the road.

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