The new school year is only a month old, but already Hesperia Unified School District police chief Bob Mosley has seen his fair share of near misses when parents are dropping their children off at school in the morning.

"The kids were pretty good [at the start of the school year]. But I just couldn't believe what the parents were doing," Mosley said Monday. "I mean, letting the kids out in the middle of the street?"

At the beginning of every school year, one of the HUSD's biggest challenges is simply controlling traffic flow around the district's campuses, as new parents drop off their students at school for the first time, new drivers make their way through congestion and parents who wouldn't normally drop their kids off do so for the first few days of school.

"We have so many new parents this year," Mosley said. Despite the slowdown in the housing market, HUSD officials expect the district's 21,000-strong student body to grow by approximately 3 percent this school year. "They're letting them jaywalk between cars. They're letting them ride bicycles to use without wearing bicycle helmets.

"I mean, not seatbelted? It's just a real tragedy. And I tell parents, it's not because this is the safest school district in the High Desert [that there hasn't been an accident], it's just the luckiest. One of these days, we're going to respond to a call, and the kid is going to be dead."

What Mosley and his officers would prefer is parents dropping their students off and picking them up at a safe spot near school, "close to a stop sign or a crosswalk where they can safely cross."

"Make sure you're on the shoulder of the road, not in the middle of the road," he said. "That way, everyone makes it home at the end of the school day."

In the meantime, Mosley and his staff will try to get the message across by writing tickets for offending parents.

"People must think we like writing these tickets. The district's going to pay us the same amount whether we write them or not. They want the kids to stay safe. We need the parents' help."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.