With the commencement of the new school year comes the dreaded traffic congestion; but, as Valerie Gonzalez reports, it's not just an issue of inconvenience, it's an issue of safety.
The traffic whistle. It's that familiar sound that announces the beginning of the new year.
Students file into their schools with all kinds of emotions and expectation. One student admits he feels "nervous", as another says she looks forward to achieving academic success.
While students are thinking ahead, authorities are thinking of their safety now. Foggy weather conditions, speeding drivers or distracted pedestrians can lead to accidents. That's why the Constable's Office of Precinct IV -- like many others -- are helping kids stay safe, and are getting an early start.
Harold Devalley, Constable Pct. IV, says, "I'm up by about 5:30 in the morning, and probably get out there about 6:45, [we] set up, look at our area and think about how we are going to do this, what better way to be effective. But, we're out here pretty early."
At the intersection of International and Curly you will see a lot of traffic congestion during school mornings, but the Constable's office says this is just one of seven locations they are monitoring to make sure students are getting to school safely, and traffic is moving smoothly.
Despite the safety measure, parents hope drivers also help out by doing their part. Ulysses Rivas, the father of a middle school students, says, "It depends on the drivers. I trust my kids when they cross the streets, because they know how to cross it. I think it depends on the drivers."
So, remember to decelerate in the school zones, and let that call, or text, go to the inbox. Otherwise, you could face fines of up to $250, or worse, you could provoke an accident.
Constable Devalley also recommends you go over basic traffic safety tips with your children -- looking both ways before crossing streets and obeying traffic guards -- as a precautionary measure.