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      Police urge drivers to slow down, pay attention with kids in school

      With most school districts back in session, it's more important than ever to pay attention while driving.

      The Ottumwa Police Department urges drivers to slow down, allow plenty of time to stop at stop lights, stop signs or intersections and also allow enough time in the mornings and afternoons to account for traffic when dropping off and picking children up from school.

      The OPD does increase their patrol presence in school zones and will be making sure drivers are being safe.

      "Since school has started last week, we've put more officers in the area, especially around the Liberty school area because this is the first year at Liberty," said Sergeant Jason Parmenter, of the Ottumwa Police Department. "Just trying to be in the area to hopefully slow down traffic and keep drivers' attentions more on the road than anything else inside their car."

      While texting and driving is illegal in the state of Iowa, talking on the phone while driving is not. However, Sergeant Parmenter said the department strongly urges people not to use any device while driving.