POLLOK, TX (KTRE) - In an effort to enhance the safety of motorists traveling US 69 North through the Central ISD school zones, TxDOT and TxDPS are combining efforts to raise awareness of reduced speed limits and are studying possible changes through the area.
Multiple crashes have occurred recently in or near the school zones. Because of these incidents, TxDOT has begun studying the school zones and what areas could be improved, corrected or changed. TxDPS has placed troopers through the area daily to enforce reduced speed limits and help keep motorists alert.
“Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers work daily enforcing Texas traffic laws to ensure the safety of school-aged students as well as all of the motoring public. Motorists are encouraged to be patient and exercise caution while traveling in and around school zones,” said Sgt. David Hendry, DPS Highway Patrol Education officer.
Driver Sandi Whiteman said she witnessed several crashes just last month.
“I was stunned see that, so there was an accident inside the school zone or it looked like inside the school zone on the right hand side of the elementary school but then traffic was still slow up ahead," Whiteman said. “Two accidents within probably 30 minutes you know, and they may have happened at the same time I don’t know. When Icame through you know they look like they were multi-vehicles."
The Texas Department of Public Safety said during the week of January 20th to the 26th there were four crashes involving at least 11 vehicles. All were inside the Central ISD school zone. Now, TxDOT and DPS are studying the area.
“We know that this study is warranted at just looking at recent crashes so that’s where we’re headed with it. We’re going to find something, hopefully if there’s anything to be done we’re going to discover that,” said Rhonda Oaks, Lufkin District public information officer.
Motorists should expect early morning and afternoon congestion and stay alert to school zone speed limits, buses entering and exiting school property, and school officers attempting to direct traffic through all school zones.
“We know that at certain times of the year the rising sun is unforgiving and directly in the eyes of southbound motorists on US 69 North, and that is something beyond our control,” Oaks said. “In addition, there are those traveling this busy highway who are not aware of the school zones or the merging or turning traffic, and that creates a safety issue that we want to study.”
DPS troopers will be present through the area continuing to work to enforce reduced speed limits and promote the safety of the traveling public.