NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Municipal court judges from Lufkin and Nacogdoches teamed up to deliver reminders on safe practices important any time, but particularly the summer.
Adults are the ones who break the laws, but first graders received the lessons.
"All rise," said Lufkin Municipal Court Marshal Mark Carnley "The honorable Judge Hollie Dewberry and Judge April Earley presiding."
First graders are unlikely to know a municipal court's function, but what they learned today
could keep their parents from facing the bench.
"Buckle up Texas," said Dewberry, who is an associate Nacogdoches municipal judge.
Unrestrained children in vehicles are the number one violation in Lufkin Municipal Judge April Earley's court. That's why she encourages young children to ...
"Say something to their parents if they see them texting and driving," Earley said. "If they see them riding without their seatbelts. Anything that's going to keep them safe and save their lives, I encourage them to speak up to their parents about that."
The municipal court lessons are designed to continue a downward trend of citations in Nacogdoches. Over the last three years, annual citation totals have gone from 8,000 to 6,000.
"Our point in doing this is to make sure the prevention and awareness are out there, so that's the reason for the less tickets, the less violations," Dewberry said.
From the courtroom, it was on to the park, where a firefighter triggers a loud warning signal, not to scare children, but to familiarize them with the looks and the sounds of a firefighter there to help.
Then a canine police unit took center stage to help offset the kind of reprimands police don't like hearing.
"How a lot of parents will typically say, 'there's a cop. I'll have him take you to jail. You better straighten up.' and they don't want that impression," Dewberry said. "They're doing a lot of community outreach as well."
The children are only six or seven, but they're old enough to remind adults rules and laws exist for everyone's safety.
With Memorial Day just over a week away, the Department of Public Safety is enacting "Click it or ticket." Motorists are reminded of stepped-up enforcement.