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An annual traffic tradition
School zone lights, street markings herald the start of classes
school zone lights
Great Bend Public Works Street Division Safety Technician Vivian Bahr and assistant Amanda Robison adjust the flashing school zone light in front of Park Elementary School on Tuesday morning. The lights were turned on last week as classes started across the city, and authorities advise drivers to take care. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

It is a sign of the times – the return of flashing yellow lights around town heralding the new school year. They also signal drivers to be aware that children could be crossing the streets in those school zones. 

Following a test the previous week, the lighted school zone warning signals were turned on for real last Thursday as the Unified School District 428 schools started their 2022-2023 academic year. The test for Central Kansas Christian Academy and Holy Family School in Great Bend was the same and the lights were in operation as those schools opened last week. 

“The lights are programmed right now to come on in the mornings,” said Anthony Bronson, Great Bend street supervisor. 

In addition, Brosnon’s crews were out recently painting crosswalks and other street markings in preparation for the students’ return.

The flashing school zone times include:

• Washington Early Education Center  

7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.

10:55 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

3 p.m. –  3:30 p.m.

• Riley Elementary School

7 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.

3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

• The rest of USD 428 district

7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.

3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

• Central Kansas Christian Academy

7:40 a.m. –  8:25 a.m.

3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

• Holy Family School

7:30 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.

3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

“We here at the Great Bend Police Department are preparing for another school year,” Police Chief Steve Haulmark said last week. “The 20 mile per hour speed limit will be enforced whenever the caution lights are flashing.”

He also reminded motorists that there are some school zones in Great Bend that are only marked by signs and there are no caution lights in the areas. 

“These school zone areas will also be strictly enforced,” he said. “A traffic infraction committed in a school zone area is double the fine.”

Haulmark asks that drivers slow down in school zone areas and watch for students or pedestrians crossing intersections while on their way to and from a school.