Amid an increase in parents taking their children to school rather than sending them on the bus, the Brownsville Independent School District is urging drivers to be mindful of increased traffic around school zones and exercise caution.
“Our goal is to have safe drop-off and pick-up zones at every school, so please monitor your speed, put down the cell phone and be patient as we flow the traffic in and out of our schools,” Oscar Garcia, chief of the BISD Police and Security Services Department, said Thursday.
Garcia added that traffic has increased throughout the city, including around schools. He said all BISD police and security officers have been trained in traffic control as part of the department’s traffic mitigation plan, that officers are rotated throughout the city and that partner agencies including Brownsville police, and Cameron County sheriff’s deputies and constables provide backup on an ongoing and as-needed basis.
“Our motive is to have safe routes to schools and to keep the children safe,” he said, urging the public to slow down, especially on heavily travelled roads like Military Highway, Alton Gloor and International boulevards. “If we need to issue a citation, we will,” he said.
Garcia said the traffic increase has occurred mainly at the elementary and middle schools, “but we’ve also seen an uptick at the high schools, so we’re asking students who are eligible to drive to stay within the traffic laws.”
Meanwhile, BISD issued a statement saying the number of parents driving their children to school has increased this year as more parents choose to provide their own transportation. “The district does have a shortage of bus drivers, similar to all school districts in the Valley. Despite the shortage, our transportation department is running all routes, in a timely manner and as needed,” the statement reads.
BISD returned to fully in-person instruction this year for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Classes started Aug. 23.