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KPD: Stay safe as school year gets underway

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Kilgore Police Department is urging parents to drive carefully when taking children to school, especially during the first few hectic weeks of the semester.

KPD Lieutenant Jonathan Gage shared some tips for safely navigating school traffic during the busy times of day when parents are dropping off or picking up students.

“We always encourage them to check out our website or our Facebook page for tips and directions, as well as the school,” Gage said. “The school sends out tips and instructions. It’s also good to go before the first day to get a general layout of the area, what kind of traffic control devices are in use and the speed limits. Of course, it’s very hectic and busy the first day of school so the more information you have before the first day, the easier it will be.”

KPD officers were on hand this week to direct traffic and help parents get to KISD campuses safely.

“That’s normally what we’ve done for the last several years. With the the opening of the new schools, the primary school and the middle school, there’s so many students in that one area, especially with those two other campuses, Chandler and the intermediate school, we knew that there would be some traffic issues and a lot of traffic congestion, especially with 259 there, which is already a busy roadway,” Gage said. “We typically man several key intersections for the first two days of school and then we monitor on the third day.”

Gage explained KPD assists and directs traffic at the start of the semester but also keeps an eye on traffic to determine if further assistance is needed.

“Typically the first day we are required to get out and direct traffic at different intersections to make sure people don’t clog intersections and block access to neighborhoods by lining up while waiting to pick up children,” Gage said. “We will have, of course, the beginning of school and when school dismisses for the first two days. We will track the progress and see how things are going and then monitor the situation.”

On August 19, KPD posted a list of tips on their Facebook page for drivers taking students to or from KISD campuses. The list included warnings against using a cell phone in a school zone, reminders to obey posted speed limits and instructions on how to safely navigate busy roads near campuses. The list can be viewed at www.Facebook.com/KilgorePolice.

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