Now that the Highway 412 west bypass is open, driving on the roads that intersect it is apt to be a lot more challenging.

To meet that challenge, the Greene County Rescue Squad has turned out to highlight the places where drivers must stop before proceeding across the bypass.

According to Rescue Squad Chief Kevin Gillmore, the squad is parking some of its vehicles, with their lights activated in the close vicinity of those intersections with the bypass that experience the most traffic. “We just want to make people aware of the need to stop now,” said Gillmore on Monday, “especially at crossings where there will be school traffic.”

Accordingly, he said, the vehicles have thus far been stationed at the bypass’s intersections with South Rockingchair Road, with Highway 58 and with Pine Knot Road. Gillmore said the vehicles would also be stationed at other intersections along the bypass. “They’ll be there in the mornings and the afternoons,” he said, “at the times when there will be school bus traffic in those locations.”

Other locations marked with stop signs where the bypass intersects roads in the city include:

Brown’s Chapel Road (Don Kirk Road)

Spring Grove Road

Westbrook Road

Old Walcott Road

Gillmore said the idea came from squad member Ryan Vaughn a couple of weeks ago.

The Paragould Police Department has hailed the effort by the Rescue Squad to keep the new road safe as motorists become accustomed to the need to stop before crossing the bypass. “Our friends with the Greene County Rescue Squad have volunteered to set up ahead of the intersections during school traffic in the mornings and afternoons,” said department public information officer Capt. Brad Snyder, “to provide some extra warning to the motorists required to stop at the bypass.”

Snyder noted that the police, in common with all first responders, “obviously prefer prevention over response.” And he thanked the Rescue Squad for its assistance in keeping area motorists aware and safe.

“Please remember to utilize the new bypass in a safe manner, and pay attention to all signage and warnings,” he concluded.

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