Concerned parents prompt repair of broken school zone lights

Concerned parents prompt repair of of broken school zone lights

Some East Texas parents are finally seeing action after concern over school zone lights that have been out since the beginning of school.

"Obviously our concern is the safety of our students and our families," said Rebecca Stewart, a concerned parent.

Stewart and other parents feared for their children's safety as they watched drivers speed through the school zones at Hazel Owens Elementary, south of Tyler. The flashing lights typically prompt drivers to lower their speed from 30 mph to 20 mph.

"Having those lights is very crucial to us," said Stewart. "As you can imagine with about 600 students, traffic can get pretty congested out front."

The concerned parents have spent the past two weeks working to find a solution. They spoke with officials at the Tyler Independent School District, the City of Tyler, Smith County, and the Texas Department of Transportation. On Monday, the district began placing police officers along Saline Creek Road to help enforce the lower speed limit.

"The reason is for the safety of students," said Danny Brown, Tyler ISD Chief of Police. "There are elementary school kids, and some of them walk from here. There's a lot of cars here at dismissal and drop-off time."

According to TISD, the issue is a timer that relays a signal to the lights telling them when to turn on and off. The district says they've been working towards fixing the issue and have ordered the parts necessary for repair. However, it could take a few weeks for those parts to come in.

Until the repairs are made, TISD police officers will remain on campus at both ends of the school zones. Some parents tell us they're frustrated with how long the process has taken. School zone lights are also out along County Road 178 and there have been no officers along that stretch of road.

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