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The Dilley Police Department is stepping up its enforcement of traffic laws this week with a focus on student safety in the community’s school zones.
Following an ‘Operation Kids First’ community outreach effort last week to coincide with the beginning of the new semester at local schools, officers have begun pursuing their policy of ‘no more warnings’ for reckless drivers, according to a statement Monday.
“We engaged our patrol officers in a special project to educate the community about road safety during Operation Kids First, and we identified drivers who were using cell phones in school zones, failing to observe speed limits, and passing buses whose cautionary lights were flashing,” Dilley PD Sgt. Angel Esparza said of last week’s activity. “It was important to us that people understand the law, take care in school zones and be aware of the presence of pedestrians.”
The sergeant said that police are acutely aware of the numbers of young pedestrians who may be in harm’s way in school zones, despite student populations at Dilley’s three campuses being low during the coronavirus pandemic. A greater percentage of students enrolled at Dilley ISD may be taking their instruction remotely at home than those going to class for in-person instruction each day, Esparza said, but dangers remain for those entering or leaving their campuses.
“We are very concerned about drivers failing to pay attention in school zones,” Esparza said on behalf of the police department. “On one day alone, we pulled over sixteen drivers who had violated basic safety regulations, including speeding and using cell phones.”
Five municipal police officers were involved in the safety program last week.
“We have to raise awareness of the dangers, and we have to work on improving road safety for our children,” the sergeant said. “We are now entering the stage where we will no longer just stop and remind drivers to be careful. We are going to issue citations for violations. The children’s safety depends on it.”