Crossing Guards, Bus Drivers Urge Motorists to Obey Rules - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/25/04

Crossing Guards, Bus Drivers Urge Motorists to Obey Rules

They're speaking out after a child was hit this morning. They're speaking out after a child was hit this morning.

Now that school is back in session, safety officials say everyone needs to pay extra close attention when driving in school zones and around school buses. Safety officials say, if motorists want to avoid an accident like the one that sent a 13-year old to the hospital this morning, they really need to be on high alert during the early morning hours and in the late afternoons.

It's busy roads like Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. in Savannah where crossing guards have to be on alert at all times. "It's only 35 miles per hour in this school zone, and sometimes we get people doing 40 to 50," said crossing guard Mary Jones.

Even with flashing lights warning motorists to cool it on the gas pedal, many often ignore them. "We have them on both ends telling you that this is a school zone, and how many miles per hour you should go in a school zone," said Jones.

Every day Jones helps youngsters cross busy intersections, and one of the problems she often faces are motorist who purposely ignoring these signs because they don't see an actual school. "It don't matter where the schools at, the sign says school zone," she said.

While crossing guards deal with these safety issues, bus drivers also have similar problems from irresponsible motorists. "A lot of people just simply are not paying attention," said bus driver and trainer Ericka Jackson.

With school now in session, crossing guards and bus drivers really want motorists to start paying close attention so another child doesn't get hurt or killed.

"I really wish the public would pay more attention, and when the yellow lights come on, put on the brakes, be prepared to slow down and stop your vehicle, and hopefully we won't have a repeat of what happened this morning," said Jackson.

Crossing guards now carry cell phones to immediately report violators. To let you know, traffic fines start at $90.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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