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Traffic signals to begin flashing with the start of classes
new deh school zone signals pic
Great Bend Street Department employee Doug Disque turns on the school zone signal light at 19th and Williams Tuesday afternoon. Motorists need to take care as the signals around town will begin flashing starting this week with the start of classes. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

School zones
According to Great Bend Street Superintendent Mike Crawford, the times school zone lights will flash are as follows:
• Unified School District 428 (classes start today) –  on at 7:30 a.m., off at 8:05 a.m., and on at 3 p.m. and off at 3:30 p.m. This includes Great Bend High School, Great Bend Middle School, and Eisenhower, Jefferson,  Lincoln, Park and Riley elementary schools.
• Holy Family School (classes start Monday, Aug. 20) – on at 7:30 a.m., off at 8:05 a.m., on at 3:15 p.m. and off at 3:45 p.m.
• Central Kansas Christian Academy (classes start Wednesday, Aug. 22) – on at 7:30 a.m., off at 8:05 a.m., on at 3:15 p.m. and off at 3:45 p.m.  

Motorists, beware. As of Tuesday, some of the lighted school zone warning signals started flashing as many of the schools in Great Bend opened their 2012-2013 academic year.
“When the lights are flashing, it means the 20-mile-per-hour speed limit is in force,” said officer Jefferson Davis of the Great Bend Police Department. This is regardless of what the normal limit is for the area.
Speeding violations in a school zone are also more costly. An additional $20 is added on top of the regular fine.
“We just want to maintain the safety of our students,” Davis said. “Those areas can get congested with parents picking up or dropping off kids, kids going to or from school, or with school activities.”
The reduced speeds allow drivers more time to react.
He also reminded students to watch for traffic and to utilize crosswalks. Crossing guards will again be on duty.
After tracking how long it took the school areas to clear out before and after classes, Davis said the school zone times were adjusted. Some are between five and 10 minutes shorter than last year.