TAKING ACTION: Arab Police plan to issue citations to drivers blocking road near Arab Primary School

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ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — If what Arab Police are calling a major traffic issue doesn’t change, officers are going to take action by issuing citations. This week though, they’re educating residents in the hopes that action won’t be necessary.

This week Arab Police are paying more attention to the roads around Arab Primary School. They’re doing it to educate residents about what the law says you can and cannot do.” We’ve had several complaints in the last few weeks of the traffic problem being such an issue,” Assistant Chief Shane Washburn says.

Assistant Chief Washburn says dozens of vehicles line up to wait for students hours before school lets out. He says the cars stay on the roads parked, and at times some drivers will leave the vehicles. “It causes a huge issue as far as emergency vehicles being able to get to the school in a proper time. It also hinders the people who live in that neighborhood, getting in and out of their residences.”

Parking in the roads is against two laws and a city ordinance. “One of them is stopping on the highway, and the other one is stopping traffic,” Assistant Chief Washburn says.

This week, Arab Police are working to let residents know all of this, so they don’t get a citation. “We’ve also sent officers out there to let every car know that’s in the line, advising they can’t stop on the roadway, they can’t park there,” Assistant Chief Washburn says.

The school also sent flyers home with the students explaining the protocols. “We were going to issue citations this week, but we’re giving them one more week to get the word out, to let them know that we will soon be issuing citations if you’re parking on the roadway,” Assistant Chief Washburn says.

He says this has been going on for years, but lately it’s become an issue and the department has received numerous complaints in regard to it.

Assistant Chief Washburn says if the problem persists, officers will be issuing citations next week, which they say are typically more than $100.

Officials say you can wait for the students at Arab Primary School starting at 1:45 p.m. Officers say you have to be pulled partially off of the road and you cannot leave your car.

It should only take about 20 to 25 minutes to go through the pick-up line at Arab Primary.

11 comments

  • Tim

    Legally extort some money from parents. That will solve the problem !! Dont bother looking at underlying issues or why parents feel they need to be there so early ? I hope the people of Arab take a stand on this and don’t allow themselves to be bullied by threats of tickets.

  • ashley

    This is crazy… there is going to be a line of cars when all the parents show up around the same time to pick their children up. Common sense will tell you this. I always try to stop before or after the driveways to make sure the residents can get in and out but im sorry that is one of the negatives living right beside a school. You should have thought about this before buying the home. Secondly. . How long is it going to be before these residents start complaining we are parking half way in their yard because that is what the police are telling us to do??

    • Katie

      I also have a child at Arab Primary. I have to agree that it won’t be long until there are complaints of yard damage if they want us pulled partially over. I personally would be beyond angry if daily I had people parking in my yard. However; I wouldn’t get mad if they were in front of the house on the road and not blocking my drive way should I need to use it. All that being said; They knew the school was there when they purchased their homes so they only have themselves to blame. I find it interesting that this is just now a problem considering how long the school has been there. It comes across to be more of a power trip than that of a safety concern. As for people actually leaving their vehicles parked in the road; that is the only safety threat I could imagine. Should there be an emergency they are slowing everyone down as we wait for them to return to the vehicle. I can say I have observed a group that will gather in the yard of the house closest to the school. I’m sure they don’t see the harm since they were off to the side but it’s just rude to assume it’s okay to pop out lawn chairs and have a chat circle. Overall, the pickup line isn’t terrible to maneuver through. I honestly think patrol time could be better spent on real issues in Arab but who doesn’t love an easy target with a guaranteed fine!

  • Blondie

    My daughter talked my mother into getting her after school the other day. Her best option was waiting till 3:00 and picking her up from extended day care. It’s worth $5 a day to pick up without a traffic jam!

  • Victor Heartsill

    If they are low on funds just go give out citations at food land around 5 pm everyday. All these people that park in the fire lane because they are to lazy to walk 30 feet. My kid rides the bus. You pay for it why not use it.

  • vichesse

    Issuing citations is not the proper course of action in this instance.

    I understand the concerns of those who chose to live in the vicinity of the APS. When my child attended that school, the lion’s share of parents who were super early were volunteers inside the school (which is why their cars were unattended). Those parents used to get the benefit of parking in the lineup first after lunch (as long as they weren’t blocking the road). While I was a volunteer parent there volunteers had to be in line in their cars by 2pm and then to not allow cars to be unattended at all in the lineup, meaning volunteers then had to go to the back of the line after putting in multiple hours at the school for free. This caused quite a few issues and a lot of hurt feelings because parents felt completely ignored and unappreciated by Leah Keith and the rest of the administration. Arab Primary has a LOT of parent involvement. If they want to keep it that way, I recommend they find a good way to let the volunteers park while working for the school in a way that will allow them to get their children in a timely manner and have minimal downtime – there is a LOT of work to be done at APS by volunteers and many are there for multiple hours a day, several days a week. Punishing them is not the way to go about it if you want to keep parents involved. They’ll stop doing as much if it gets to be more of a headache than it’s worth and it costs the family money that could otherwise be going to the school. How about letting volunteer parents park in the Kindergarten line – that would keep them off the roads and out of their hair? It is within the administration’s power to redesign or re-designate areas as necessary to minimize impact on surrounding neighborhoods. Having the police issue citations is out of the question – it’s just lazy and greedy.

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