Dropping into Some New Drop-Off Rules

Marissa Garcia, Reporter

On September 3rd, 2019, new traffic laws were implemented at Great Bend High School. The rules state that “drivers are not permitted to stop, stand, or park on Morton Street where the curb is yellow or blocking any private driveway” and that “drivers are not permitted to stop, stand, or park  on the south side of 19th Street where the curb is yellow and can be cited.” These new rules are meant to keep the students safe and get traffic down to a minimum.

In an interview, Mr. Tim Friess was asked, “What were the problems with the old method?” To which he responded, “Traffic and having drivers stop in the middle of the roads and causing both sides of the street to jam.” Friess claimed that the former system was to “park as close to the door, drop off and go.” Friess described the old drop-off method as “7 minutes of cluster.” He explained that these changes to the drop-off/pick-up method were prompted by wanting to “change the traffic and safety hazards.”

When asked about the problems of the old method, Officer Paul Millard said, “Cars were stopping illegally in the road, blocking traffic, so people who aren’t dropping off kids are getting held up, basically just blocking the flow of traffic.” In addition, Officer Millard stated “People would park behind people who were parked legally or just stop in the roadway and drop kids off, blocking the crosswalk, holding up traffic. Some people were stopped at the intersection at the red light.” Millard described the old drop-off system as “problematic.” Millard continued, “Last year we started to fix traffic control at all the schools: elementary, the middle school. By the time we got up to the high school level we just didn’t have time to do last year, so we are trying to crack down on it and fix the problem this year so we can look to see about getting other changes made, like drop off and pick up zones, actually instead having to pull into a parking stall. So first step is to fix the problem and then move on from there.” Officer Millard also included how much tickets will be when drivers are cited, saying, “They are $30 plus the $82.50 court cost so you’re looking about $113, and that is if a city officer stops you. If a county officer, I’m not sure what their fines are, but I know they’re more.”

The new change will take time to adjust to, but soon drivers will learn and be safer. Roadways will be clear and easier to get through. Most importantly, the new rules make it less likely that anyone will be harmed.