Fast drivers in Weslaco school zones raising safety concerns

11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago Wednesday, October 05 2022 Oct 5, 2022 October 05, 2022 8:07 PM October 05, 2022 in News - 5 On Your Side

Parents with children who attend schools at the Weslaco Independent School District say they’re concerned about fast drivers in school zones.

Maria Velasquez says she used to walk her grandkids to school every school year, but this year, speeding drivers near Margo Elementary are forcing changes.

One parent says he was nearly hit as he walked his 3-year-old to school, adding that the crosswalk is barely visible.

Weslaco ISD and the Weslaco Police Department are aware of the issues.

"We're in communication with our police department; we're in communication with our mayor and our city manager and we have a good partnership with them and we want them to increase their patrols so that there is a presence and more of an awareness," said Carlos Robledo, Weslaco ISD's executive director for district communications.

The city manager, engineering department, and the police chief have all gone out to the area to get a look at the problem firsthand.

"We've reported that to the city commission and they have authorized us to be able to address that issue," said Weslaco police Chief Joel Rivera.

Regarding Margo Elementary, Rivera says there is talk about adding additional crosswalks so that everyone isn't relying on just the two they have. The first crosswalk that could be added will be on the north side of the school, but Rivera says it will take time for a change.

"It’s not an easy fix; there's state laws and state rules that have to be followed,” Rivera said. “There’s an engineering study that has to be done and then there’s money that has to be allocated and spent and so that process can be cumbersome, but I know it’s being undertaken today."

But it isn't just up to the city and district to make a change.

"Ultimately, it’s about the safety of our kids and I've said this once and I've said it several times: The community is our biggest partner," Rivera said.

As for Velasquez, she hopes that the school district will eventually consider crossing guards.

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