Harlingen police looking out for distracted drivers in school zones

Police say to expect to see officers in school zones in their units, assisting children crossing the road

The new school year is just around the corner and in Harlingen one should expect to see more police officers in school zones making sure traffic laws are being followed.

It TMs all about the children TMs safety.

That TMs why Harlingen police will not only make sure the students make their way safely to school, but they will also be enforcing traffic laws.

Officers will be keeping a close eye on drivers in school zones so expect to see a significant police presence during the first month.

Distracted drivers not only can injure themselves or others on the roadway they can definitely hurt our children, Sergeant Dave Osborne with Harlingen Police said. Looking down for a quick text, tweet or a Facebook status or whatever can actually take your eyes of the roadway causing to strike a child and at that point nothing is worth it."

Sgt. Osborne said to expect to see police officers in school zones in their units and assisting children crossing the road.

He said there will be zero tolerance for those drivers using their cellphone.

If there is something that gives that officer indication that you are not paying attention to what you are doing they will pull up next to you or pull behind you and find out if you are on your phone, Osborne said. You are probably not just on a phone call probably actually looking down at your phone, dialing or maybe sending a text message and those kinds of things in school zones are simply prohibited."

A ticket for using a cell phone in a school zone can cost up to $200.

The only time you can use it is if your vehicle is in park in parking lot.

Police also want to make sure you drop your kids in a designated drop-off location, as they will be citing for improper stop to those who drop their kids elsewhere.

That child opens that back door to get out, another vehicle may strike that child, Osborne said. That child may run across the street thinking he is safe or she is safe and vehicles may try to pass car thinking it TMs going to make a turn. All kinds of bad things can happen when you drop off children in the middle of the roadway."

Also, if you see a school bus with a stop sign out, one must stop no matter if the bus is on the opposite lane.

Harlingen police and the city are working on a mapping route for the future.

A specific route drivers would take when taking their kids to school.

A plan for a better way to flow the traffic during the school year.