New rules encourage safety for children

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Hill Field Elementary and Hill AFB have taken some pragmatic steps to improve the safety of students dropped off at the traffic circle this upcoming school year. Led by Hill AFB parents, they met with teachers, staff, and military members and designed a plan to stream-line the drop-off and pick-up process before and after school.

The traffic pattern in the circle will resemble that of a "round-about" or traffic circle (enter from the right, exit from the left). Painted lines will help ensure vehicles proceed in an orderly fashion, with the entire center of the circle being blocked off to prohibit parking. Parents desiring meetings with teachers must make an appointment and use the front of the school, off Hill AFB, from now on. In accordance with the design, security forces have eliminated the poles throughout the area. The two outer lanes (closest to the fence) will be used to pick up and drop off students while the lane closest to the inner portion of the circle will be used for thru traffic only and used for those parents departing the circle after dropping off or picking up students.

Dropping off students is not changed much from previous years except that we now have two allocated lanes instead of the one last year. Parents will drop off students by the gate closest to the gate for the school (same as last year).

Picking up students in the afternoon will require drivers to pull as far forward in the circle as possible using the two right lanes. Students will be released at the south side of the circle (closest to the exit) by a teacher. Teachers will be positioned in a manner that allows them to control the flow of exiting students. Students may only be picked up in this area in the afternoon, as the other gates will remain closed so students are not darting into traffic from different points.

Additionally, parents walking their kids to school can continue to use either the southside or northside sidewalk to drop off their kids in the morning. However, in the afternoon, the southside sidewalk will be jammed packed with students waiting to be picked up and it is suggested those walking to pick up children should use the northside sidewalk only. The north side will be open and far easier to pick up kids.

"We ask for your patience as we all become familiar with this new improved traffic pattern this year," Col. Scott Chambers, 75th Air Base Wing commander said. "We aim to ensure the safety of our kids while allowing more vehicles into the pickup area at one time to reduce the number of vehicles backed up on adjacent roadways to make it safer for our kids on foot heading home."