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Law enforcement focuses on crosswalk safety during school year | #schoolsaftey

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – With school back in session, foot traffic has increased around school zones in the morning and afternoon.

Law enforcement has also seen an uptick in distracted driving in school zones, making some parents nervous to let their children walk to school.

On Thursday morning, a mother and her two children were struck by a car on Wilkins Avenue near Douglas MacArthur Junior High School.

Jonesboro police said the driver was turning off Wilkins and did not see the mother and her children.

The three were taken to the hospital and police said are “okay.”

Zach Kaja with the Jonesboro Police Department works traffic every year. He said too often he sees people on their phones and not paying attention.

“We were trying to get her to stop as there were people coming across the road and she just continued right at them,” Kaja said. “It took me knocking on her window before she stopped and I told her to put her phone down.”

Kaja has responded to multiple crashes involving children in school zones. He said Thursday could have been much worse, but it can all be prevented by being vigilant behind the wheel.

“Some of your injuries are like today which are minor, some of them you get there and you have a person that is unconscious on the ground and you can’t even talk to them and find what happened,” Kaja said.

He said parents need to talk to their children about crosswalk safety.

“We have little kids that are excited and they might not think to stop and look both ways beforehand even though they do have the right of way at a crosswalk,” he said.

Kaja said when walking to and from school, always use the sidewalk, never assume a vehicle will stop for you, and don’t be on your mobile device while walking.

Meanwhile, Jonesboro police are locking down on distracted driving. Officers will be running radar in school zones and watching for those who are distracted behind the wheel.

“There is no tolerance for speed, no tolerance for the phone,” Kaja said. “The state statute says you can not be on your phone in shape or form while you are in a school zone.”

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