AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – TxDOT is launching its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart” program to ensure children get to and from school safely, reminding drivers to be extra careful in areas school.

The Amarillo Police Department has generally increased law enforcement during the first few weeks of school as the community adjusts to new school zones.

Now that law enforcement has turned to other tasks, TxDOT wants to make sure people are still paying as much attention as before.

Last year, nearly 800 traffic accidents occurred in Texas school zones, some resulting in serious injuries and, in one case, even death.

“In the Amarillo District in 2019, there were 26 traffic accidents in school zones,” said Ginger Wilson, public relations manager for TxDOT. “Fortunately, none of these resulted in fatalities or serious injuries. We want this campaign to have an impact on drivers by encouraging them to adopt safe driving habits in school zones, including reducing their speed and putting away their cell phones.

The effort also encourages Texans to watch school buses and children on bikes or on foot.

“As drivers settle into their daily routine, sometimes they can focus on other things, like their upcoming journey or talking to their kids before they get out of the car. are less attentive when crossing these school zones,” Wilson said.

The pandemic has also changed driver behaviors.

Due to COVID-19, far fewer students can take the bus as parents believe it is unsafe.

This means more drivers on the road, longer queues and possibly more walkers and cyclists.

The message “Be Safe. Drive Smart. is an initiative here in Amarillo and throughout Texas to ensure that our children get to and from school in the safest way possible, no matter what. route they take.

Copyright 2020 KFDA. All rights reserved.

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