Back to the Books: School zone safety

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Many parents say they think their kids are safe on the streets and crosswalks surrounding schools, but they say that there’s still room for improvement. “People can always pay a little more attention, slow down”, says mother Tiffany Reid. “Just keep in mind that kids crossing the street don’t always pay attention.”

Reid says that she keeps her eyes on the road, and even goes a little under the speed limit, just in case a child darts out into the street. She also keeps her phone far away, and out of sight. Abilene traffic engineer James Rogge says that’s a good ida, and there’s never a right time to use a cell phone. 

Rogge describes one encounter he had with a parent in a school zone: “A gentleman was driving in a school zone and I talked to him, and said, ‘Hey, you’re driving and texting in a school zone.’ ‘Well, I’ve got to find my kid!’ Well, pull over, and tell your kid where you’re at. Quit driving down the street. Because if you’re looking at that cell phone, you’re not paying attention to the kids that are in the street.”

Those kids in the street are, as expected, the most important aspect of what makes up a school zone. “The driving factor for school zones are pedestrians”, says Rogge. “If there’s going to be pedestrians at the school, that’s going to be the driving factor for adding crossing guards, crossing zones, and other school zone amenities.”

Parents agree that it’s always best to stay alert when entering school zones. Parent James Ragain says, “We’re a community, so we need to be looking out for one another. That includes kids that aren’t your own. So just be safe out there, and watch for kids.”

Rogge agrees, adding, “Your kid is not more important than others. We all care about every one of these kids.”

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