Streets Of Speed - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/22/04 - Longview

Streets Of Speed

Our Channel 7 speedzapper has often caught drivers speeding in school zones. But the location we focus on Monday in our Streets of Speed report is also known for students crossing the road in an area that isn't marked off as a cross walk.

The area is Gilmer road at the school zone for Spring Hill schools.

The speed limit there is 30 miles per hour before and after school. It's heavily traveled and it didn't take us long to find speeders.

One driver going 50 miles per hour in a school zone and another traveling at 41 miles per hour in a 30 mile an hour school zone.

We set up just as school was letting out and quickly found the problem was more than just speeders. The cross walk at Gilmer and Spring Hill road has a crossing guard waiting in her car to help students get across, but she rarely has to get out of  her vehicle. That's because most students cross down the street at Fenton where there is no crossing guard.

"It's quicker cause you just got a straight shot from the school," says student Eric Renfro.

Another student crossing on Fenton agrees, "It's more dangerous up there because people are running red lights, they don't look out for the people."

Kaye Driggers has owned a nearby grocery store for 30 years. She says the road is a danger to the students. "We've seen some close calls that would really give you cold chills. We've even seen automobiles hit each other trying to dodge the children."

The longer we sat there, it seemed the faster people drove. Several drivers traveling at 40 miles an hour and one woman topping 51 miles an hour.

But Kaye believes the speeding problem can be fixed. "I don't think our school crossing signs are visible. They don't see a school so they don't realize the children are coming."

Kaye says the signs marking the school zone need to be more visible. Until then, she hopes drivers will slow down and watch out for the children.

Driggers has written letters to city council members about her safety concerns in front of Spring Hill schools. Those letters have been forwarded to the state traffic department.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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