Officials stress safety in school zones
Stacey Fontenot
Thursday, August 8, 2019
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School is set to begin Friday, Aug. 9 in Jeff Davis Parish. Officials are reminding motorists to use care while driving through school zones.

“With school starting soon, I would like to inform all residents of the city that we will have additional officers patrolling and crossing guards in each school zone,” said Jennings Police Chief Danny Semmes. “It is very important for drivers to follow the directions of the crossing guards for the safety of all students and faculty.”

Students may be distracted during the first few weeks of school, Semmes said.

“The children are excited and may not be paying attention,” he said. “Drivers should be aware of what is happening around them.”

Semmes said patrol officers will be looking for distracted drivers, especially regarding cell phone usage. The officers will radar traffic throughout school zones and the surrounding areas.

“All traffic laws will be strictly enforced for the safety of the children,” said Semmes.

“Safety will be our main concern.”

Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods reminds drivers of safety in rural areas as well and he cautioned that laws in school zones are taken seriously.

“Laws involving speed limits or cell phone use are especially sensitive in school zones,” said Woods. “The use of any cellular device in a school zone during posted hours is strictly prohibited.”

Safety is important not only near schools but along the parish roadways also.

“Remember to always obey a school bus’s flashing lights and stop signs,” said Woods. “Watch for children crossing the highways.”

Welsh Police Chief Marcus Crochet reiterated the concerns of Semmes and Woods.

“We encourage everyone to follow the traffic laws, especially the speed limit,” said Crochet. “We will have officers at our schools monitoring traffic for an extended period during the first few weeks of school. We ask everyone not to text and drive and be mindful of other motorists. Be patient and let everyone get their routine in order.”

Crochet said he hopes the police presence will help ease the minds of parents sending their children back to school.