Local News

Schools Create Traffic Plans To Prevent Dropoff Incidents

Posted March 21, 2000

— One boy died and six others were injured Wednesday morning when the driver of a minivan lost control of the vehicle in front of the entrance to Smithfield Middle School. While it is not clear whether it was possible to prevent theaccident, most schools have traffic plans in place. The plans are intended to prevent incidents at dropoff and pick-up times.

AtMac Williams Middle Schoolin Fayetteville, about 100 parents pick up their children. The rest of the children travel on buses.

Renee Freeman does not take any chances with her two daughters. She goes inside to get them every day.

"I have seen kids dart out, not intentionally, but they dart out there and just to be on the safe side, I would rather go in," Freeman says.

A safety plan is in place at the school. Buses and cars are separated to help with the flow of traffic.

"It just keeps the congestion down," says school principal Ernest Freeman. "It spreads the congestion out."

A speed limit is also in the works, aimed at keeping traffic at a crawl. A school parking lot also guides drivers in a single direction, but some say there are still problems.

"You just have to keep your eyes open and not apply a lot of gas," says driver Michael Wade.

The principal is constantly reminding his students to be careful, and he says no plan will work if parents are not constantly on alert.

In Cumberland County, district officials make recommendations on traffic flows. It is up to principals to enforce and fine tune the plans.


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