Things you can do to make sure students stay safe in congested school zones

Thousands of students are returning to campus for the first time in over a year, which means school zones are active and congested.

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Parents can do simple things to make sure their kids remain safe. Whether you have school-aged children or drive by a school zone on your daily route, you know streets can get busy in the morning and late afternoon as children leave campus.

ABC13 reporter Elissa Rivas visited Pearland ISD one afternoon, and like so many other schools, she said she saw long lines to pick up children, students loading into buses and large groups of parents and children at crosswalks.

At those crosswalks, a Pearland police officer said they see risky behavior every school year. Often times, drivers, walkers and cyclists are not paying attention to their surroundings and risk getting hurt.

"Getting complacent, let's go ahead and put those devices down," said Officer Jason Wells with the Pearland Police Department. "That's for our walkers, our drivers and our bike riders alike. Let's put our head on a swivel and start looking for foot and bike traffic."

Parents with children eager to get to and from school agree.

"They don't realize how quick kids are, and they are coming from all directions and they're not usually paying attention either," said Kimmie Longstreet, a parent.

TxDOT said that in addition to inattention, factors like speed and failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign or driveway are the most common and dangerous mistakes. Putting down the cell phone is not only a must for drivers, but for students walking as well. The inattention that comes with being on the phone can have dangerous results.

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