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With the start of classes, drivers urged to watch out
new deh school street safety pic
Great Bend Street Department employees paint parking stalls along Morton Street in front of Great Bend High School Monday afternoon. A fresh coat of paint is one way officials are preparing the streets for the start of school. Motorists are also cautioned to be careful. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Great Bend school zone times
All schools: 7:15-8:15 a.m. and 2:50-3:30 p.m.
Exceptions: At Riley Elementary School, the morning starts at 7 a.m. since breakfast is served there; at Holy Family School (which opens Aug. 22) the times are 7:30-8:15 a.m. and 3:15-3:45 p.m.; and at Central Kansas Christian Academy (which opens Aug. 25), the times are 7:25-8:25 a.m. and 3-3:35 p.m.
A zone is in place from 10:40 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. at Washington Early Childhood Center because of special programs they have there, and the afternoon time there runs from 2:50-3:55 p.m.
School Addresses
Eisenhower Elementary, 1212 Garfield
Jefferson Elementary, 2716 24th
Lincoln Elementary, 5630 Broadway
Park Elementary, 1801 Williams
Riley Elementary, 1515 10th
Washington Early Childhood Center, 2535 Lakin
Great Bend Middle School, 1919 Harrison
Great Bend High School, 2027 Morton
Central Kansas Christian Academy, 215 McKinley
Holy Family School, 4200 Broadway

 Great Bend Street Department crews armed with rollers and large buckets of white paint have spent the past couple weeks preparing cross walks and parking places around school buildings for the start of  public school classes today.
The fresh coat of paint on the pavement and the flashing yellow school zone lights are reminders to local motorists they need to take care as children again start walking, riding or biking their way back to the classroom. “Just be safety minded and slow down,” said Great Bend Police Capt. Bob Robinson.
“Be alert, things are going to be congested,” he said. There are a bunch of new students making their way to school for the first time and drivers have to get accustomed to school zones again. “That first week is the most trying time.”
 Reduced school zone speed limits went into effect Tuesday, along with the beginning of the flashing lights. Broadly  speaking, these run from as early as 7 a.m. to as late as 8:25 a.m. and from as early as 2:50 p.m. to as late as 3:55 p.m.
The times vary from school to school, depending on when classes start and what programs are offered at the building. See break-out for specific information. 
At these times, crossing guards are on duty as well.
What’s more, “the fines for all traffic violations in a school zones is double,” Robinson said.
The captain also reminds drivers they are not to park in safety zones, bus loading areas or anywhere else marked no parking. This becomes a problem as parents drop off and pick up their children from school.
The American Automobile Association also encourages drivers to be cautious. “Roads are filling up with carpools, buses and students,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president for public and government affairs at AAA. “Drivers are reminded to pay close attention and exercise caution in school zones and neighborhoods.”
AAA recommends the follow tips to keep kids safe while driving in school zones:
• Follow the speed limit. School zone speed limits are purposefully set low. Children are unpredictable and may have difficulty gauging the distance and speed of an approaching car.
• Always stop for loading or unloading school buses. It may be tempting to drive around stopped school busses, but it is dangerous and against the law.
• Scan between parked cars. Kids may dart out between cars while getting picked up or playing after school. Remain alert for children and other objects coming out unexpectedly from between parked cars.
• Educate your children. Teaching children about traffic safety will help them protect themselves. Teach them the rules of getting on and off a school bus, staying on sidewalks and never getting in a car with a stranger.