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ARAB, Ala. — A problem that has persisted for years is still an issue that Arab Police officers are working to stop. They say it has to do with public safety.

Arab officers patrol around Arab Primary School toward the end of the day to stop drivers from parking on the street surrounding the school well before school gets out. It’s an ongoing issue every school year, and officers say it blocks traffic and causes issues if first responders need to get to the area. “It would be almost impossible to get here to the school safely,” Assistant Chief Shane Washburn said.  That goes for the homes in that neighborhood too. “We want to eliminate that. We don’t want any issues trying to get here.”

Washburn says cars are allowed to line up at two o’clock, but that’s not usually the case. So officers patrol the area regularly in the afternoons to deter drivers and tell them what the rules are.

Neighbors say the problem used to be a lot worse, but since the officers have been showing a presence, it’s gotten better. But, it’s not completely fixed. “If everybody would work together we could get this thing solved, but it’s just really challenging when you continue trying to get the word out there, but unfortunately some people still park before two o’clock,” Washburn said.

He continued to say the main priorities are to make sure the kids are safe, that they’re able to get to them safely in an emergency and to stop the inconvenience for the residents.

Washburn says he would rather the officers educate parents about what the rules are than write tickets, but if the problem persists with education and warnings, a ticket could follow.