Streets of Speed: School Zone Ignored by Many - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

5/11/04-Tyler

Streets of Speed: School Zone Ignored by Many

It's nearing the end of the school year, and some drivers seem to be taking a vacation from the law... ignoring speed limits in school zones. One problem area is on County Road 168, also known as Saline Creek Road in Gresham. It runs right in front of Owens Elementary and is very busy.

Principal Robert Rich: "People are coming around the curb and there's a school zone and they don't realize they're already going too fast to begin with."

The speed limit around Owens Elementary is 20 miles an hour. Despite the flashing signal, some don't seem to care. With parents picking up their kids, with school buses coming and going, some drivers look to be in a hurry.

Many cars were going from ten to fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit.  Principal Robert Rich runs this very large elementary school with eight hundred kids. He says it would just take a moment of inattention by a child, and carelessness by a driver to create a tragedy.

Rich's fear is "that someone would run into a parent waiting to pick up a child or even run into the crossing guard." 

Most drivers kept about 20mph... but some started accelerating in front of the school itself.

The highest speed we clocked was 46mph in the 20mph zone.

Rich says law enforcement is present several times a week.  But it's not the threat of a ticket, but care for the kids that he says should rule this school day.

"Nobody likes to wait in line and we're in a society that we 'go, go, go' and 'hurry, hurry, hurry' and when you're picking kids up from school and dropping them off, people need to be patient."

 

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