Sometimes when something stands still long enough, it starts to blend into the background and no one notices a thing.
It’s like in the Jurassic Park movie where Dr. Allen Grant faces a Tyrannosaurus Rex and says, “Don’t move! He can’t see you, if you don’t move.”
The no-parking signs on the north and east sides of the school have stayed still for reportedly over 30 years and much like the dinosaur’s vision, the signs have faded from view.
Andy Roehl, a local sheriff’s deputy said, “Those signs were so old that I didn’t even know they were there.”
It’s likely that others in the community, like Roehl, hadn’t noticed the signs either, so it came as a surprise to many parents when they received parking tickets while dropping their kids off at school.
“With a fresh pair of eyes, our new sheriff’s deputy noticed and enforced the no-parking signs which had gone unnoticed by a lot of people in the community,” said Roehl, “I don’t think anyone was intentionally disregarding the signs.”
Although the new enforcement may be inconvenient for some, according to Ryan Moser, the Hettinger Public School superintendent, the signs are ultimately there for the protection of the students.
“The whole idea of the signs is for safety,” said Moser, “Its there so students from of all ages can get to the bus without worrying about cars.”
According to Moser, when cars were parked in the no parking zone in the afternoon, it forced the busses to stop in the middle of the road to pick up students. Then cars would drive around the bus, creating a one-lane road for two-way traffic.
“I had tried to call law enforcement to discuss the parking situation previously, and between the time that I contacted them and we got in contact, some tickets were given out,” said Moser, “All we were asking was for people to keep that spot clear for our community.”
Roehl continued saying that the hardest thing moving forward is changing the parking routine and educating individuals about the signs’ existence.
“It’s something we will all learn together,” said Roehl.