Lufkin Police offer school zone safety refresher for parents, children
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - As summer comes to an end and school is about to begin, it’s easy for drivers to forget about school zones.
With kids back in school come students on foot when the bell rings at the end of the day.
Being alert and aware in school zones is important to keep all children safe.
Lufkin Police Sergeant Eddie Ibarra says school zones present a unique dynamic.
“We got kids walking, we got kids on bicycles, we got school buses, and we have the volume of traffic there all coming together at one place at the same time. And, with that unique dynamic we know kids are very unpredictable, and because kids are unpredictable, it kind of falls on us as motorists in the middle of all that dynamic to be aware of what’s going on around us,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra says the department sees the most issues around schools at crosswalks.
“It makes it hard for the kids because of the traffic that is there, and the visibility makes it hard as well. That’s where we have most of our crashes; it’s because people are not adjusting their speed or not paying attention,” Ibarra said.
He stressed drivers should adjust their speed in school zones. In Texas, the speed limit is 20 miles per hour in active school zones. If caught speeding while school zones are active, fines double.
Ibarra also said drivers should stay off of phones to be more aware of their surroundings and encouraged parents to allow themselves extra time to get their children to school.
“The first couple weeks is going to be chaotic, and one of the things is to leave yourself more extra time because of the traffic. It always seems like when you’re running late, it seems like everything goes wrong,” Ibarra said.
He also said children should be aware of their surroundings. “Obviously kids are on their phones and not paying attention,” Ibarra said. He recommended they “be aware and put up their headphones, their cell phones and to stay alert to their surroundings.”
The Lufkin Police Department also says to avoid passing vehicles in school zones and park only in designated areas.
If caught passing a school bus while children are getting off, the fine could be over one thousand dollars.
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