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Public Safety

Posted on: August 17, 2017

Police Chief urges caution in school zones

school sign

Distracted drivers are the biggest risk to safety.

LITTLE ELM (August 16, 2017) Classes have officially started in most Little Elm schools and officers of the Little Elm Police Department will be paying particular attention to school zones during the first weeks of the semester, seeking to heighten awareness of driver responsibility.

“This year, like every year at this time, our officers will be paying particular attention to the school zones to present a visual reminder of their importance,” says Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison. “Drivers are overall very responsible in obeying speed limit laws, but there are some zones that have new schedules, so motorists have to be observant and not depend on prior years’ experiences.” 

While school safety zones exist to enhance the security and protection around the immediate vicinity of the school, drivers also need to be aware of children walking outside the posted zones as well. For example, students walking or riding bikes to any of the Little Elm schools may begin their daily journey far from school. Even though speed limits increase outside the posted school zones, drivers should nevertheless be watching for students and drive accordingly.

“Regardless of the reason, and I think our officers have heard them all, speeding can never be explained away when someone is injured or killed,” said the Chief. “We urge all drivers, whether planning to stop at a school or not, to plan their morning with sufficient time to drive safely to their destination, taking into consideration that school zones and increased traffic may slow their commute.”

Of most concern is the distracted driver issue. Despite the fact that there is a hands-free exemption in the law, research shows that even the hands-free use of these devices causes a significant distraction. 

“No conversation or message is worth the risk of injuring a child, so please refrain from using these devices while driving through the school zone,” advised the Chief. 

“This is a perfect time to be role models for our children by planning the drop off and pick up to allow for the delays that will surely occur, and by demonstrating patience as we drive.  You can be sure they’re watching how we react.”

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