Parents have heavy traffic concerns in one school zone

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA (WTOC)  - Waiting in the traffic line to pick up your children from school can seem like forever sometimes. But for one particular school, parents say it's turning into a safety issue.

WTOC went to Marlow Elementary School where parents have already seen minor wrecks and they are hoping the Effingham County School District does something before someone gets seriously hurt.

Carol Shepard sits in this traffic along Georgia Highway 17 everyday waiting to pick up her grandchildren from Marlow Elementary School.

She says sometimes she sits waiting for 15 to 20 minutes right in the middle of the highway.

"We are sitting as an open target in this lane and if someone has an accident or car spins out no one has anywhere to go, they are going to run into us," said Shepard.

"It's a very dangerous situation, something needs to be done," said Shepard.

Carol isn't the only one who feels this way, just ask parent Stephanie Ertzberger.

"It's horrible. It's been like this for awhile. We've been waiting for something bad to happen. Of course we don't want that, but it's going to," said Ertzberger.

"These parents get here because there is so much traffic. You know, a lot get here at 1:30 p.m. and 1:45 and before you know it they are out in the road in both directions so when you coming out of the school you can't see," explained Ertzberger.

Stephanie says there needs to be someone directing traffic.

So what is the school district have to say about this? WTOC spoke with the excutive director of adminstrative services Dr. Slade Helmly with the Effingham County School District. He says they are aware of the problem and are working to come up with a solution, but are asking for parents help.

"We would ask for parents not to come until 2:25 p.m. There's a limited amount of staging on campus and the other thing parents can do is put their children on the bus we do offer transportation all over the district, " said Helmly.

Another option would be stagger pick-up times by grade level. Parents say whatever it takes, they just want safety to come first.

"Something needs to be done, bottom line," said Shepard.

Effingham County Sheriff's spokesperson tells WTOC if patrol deputies aren't tied up with calls they will focus on school zones; however, Marlow does not have a full time deputy assigned to the school.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.