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Tyler drivers adjust to new speed limits around 13 schools | #schoolsaftey

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Today was the first day of school for Tyler Independent School District, and 13 of its schools have modified school speed zones since last school year.

Tyler City Council approved the motion to lower speed limits to 20 miles per hour surrounding 12 of the schools. Additionally, the motion included removing school speed zones from around Clarkston Elementary.

Tyler Traffic Engineer Cameron Williams says the changes will help establish consistency.

“We had a lot of different school zone speeds throughout the city, and so we tried to make that more consistent on that 20 miles per hour so that when people know they’re going through a school zone, they know it’s 20. It’s not 30 or 25, so hopefully it gives the drivers a little bit more knowledge of what that school zone speed is,” Williams says.

On busy roadways, they have installed flashing signs called beacons to warn drivers to slow down and get off their cell phones. These and non-electronic signs also note when the school zone speed limits are in effect.

Rice Elementary is one of the schools that has new signs, and its beloved crossing guard hopes it will make a difference.

“[There’s] a lot of speeding traffic,” says Jerry Hawking who has been a school crossing guard for 12 years. “People, even today, they don’t really realize that we’re in a school zone now, because the signs are here now, and so just enforcing that is probably our biggest challenge,” he says.

Hawkins also wishes the speed limits were even lower to better protect the people he considers family.

“You meet the parents, you get to know them, they’re here for five years and then some, because some start in preschool, and they’re all family, and I have lots of grandkids now!” he says.

Williams expects it to take some time for people to adjust to the changes, especially after the summer break when school speed zones were not in effect.

“Take your time. There’s going to be a lot of people who maybe don’t know where they’re going, or those school drop-offs and pick-ups are pretty crazy the first couple weeks of school, so just try to have a little patience,” says Williams.

Here is a list of the 13 schools that have experienced changes

  • Andy Woods Elementary
  • Boulter Middle School
  • Caldwell Elementary
  • Clarkston Elementary (Removed School Speed Zones)
  • Cumberland Academy
  • Griffin Elementary
  • Hubbard Middle School
  • Jack Elementary School
  • Moore Middle School
  • Ramey Elementary
  • Rice Elementary
  • Tyler Legacy High School
  • UT Tyler University Academy

KLTV’S Lauren Tear spoke with Jerry Hawkins, a Tyler ISD crossing guard who has been on the job for over a decade, about school zones and the updated zone surro

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