HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — School begins in just a few days across the Rio Grande Valley, and with more students returning in person, a lot more traffic is expected.
At the start and end of every school day, you may have come across the flashing light of a school zone sign when driving near a campus.
McAllen ISD Police Chief Jose Silva Jr. said motorists should always drive slow in a school zone.
“You need to follow the speed limit and it’s posted in regards to the flashing lights, 20 or 25 miles an hour, Silva said. “You also have cell phone usage, stay off your cellphones in the school zones. People take for granted but you can easily be distracted by a cell phone.”
McAllen ISD officers team up with McAllen Police to patrol school zones across the district.
“We have about 13 officers running traffic and looking for those types of issues,” Silva said. “We have arrest powers we are able to issue citations so of course, we don’t want it to come down to that. We obviously want people to know what it is that they’re doing.”
Other districts like Brownsville ISD Police Department also team up with the city to make sure all traffic areas near schools are safe.
Police Chief Oscar Garcia said there are risks if people speed.
“Worst case scenario the last thing we want to deal with is a pedestrian-vehicle accident. We want all of us to be extremely attentive and pay attention to those moving vehicles,” Garcia said. “We have security officers assigned to every elementary school, so it’s a good little presence not only are we going to have our personnel out there visible we will also collaborate with our partners with the city.”
BISD Police is also planning to use enforcement for those drivers who do not follow the speed limit.
“A group of officers will be specialized trained to address speeding motorists going through our zones. The last thing we want to do is give out citations for obvious reasons but if we are going to grab your attention we are going to take a proactive approach,” Garcia said.