Parents, Officials Worry About Speeding Traffic Near Fayetteville School

Posted February 16, 2007 4:43 p.m. EST
Updated February 16, 2007 6:18 p.m. EST

— Speeding in school zones is a dangerous trend that's getting worse, according to parents in Fayetteville.

Getting traffic to stop so children can cross is a daily battle in front of St. Patrick’s School. Crossing guard Grover Harris does his best to protect the kids, but he said rivers seem to ignore the flashing lights and signs.

"It frustrates me," Harris said. “There's nothing I can do."

Cindy Kokinda walks her 5-year-old daughter to the school daily. She said it's amazing that there hasn't been a head-on collision.

"It seems like we're moving targets when we are crossing the street,” Kokinda said.

Speeding traffic has gotten so bad that police have turned the school zone into a speed trap. Officers say on average they've written 20 to 30 tickets a day outside St. Patrick’s in the past few weeks. Nevertheless, motorists keep speeding.

Drivers caught speeding probably aren't thrilled by the extra police protection. But St. Patrick’s principal, Tom Manion, said he is thankful because he's already witnessed two close calls.

"One Kindergartener stepped out and almost got clipped,” Manion said. “Thank God that didn't happen."

No students have been injured in the area so far. But parents and teachers told WRAL that if authorities can't find a way to make drivers beware, the crosswalk could become an accident scene.

"Somebody will get hurt sooner or later," Kokinda said.

Cumberland County Schools officials compiled a list of the schools that have the most dangerous crossing zones. The schools, listed in no particular order, are:
  • Benjamin J. Martin Accelerated Learning Academy, Reilly Road, Fayetteville
  • Raleigh Road Elementary, Ramsey Street, Linden
  • William H. Owen Elementary School, Raeford Road, Fayetteville
  • Loyd E. Auman Elementary School, Raeford Road, Fayetteville
  • Cliffdale Elementary School, Cliffdale Road, Fayetteville
Each North Carolina municipality can set its own fines for speeding in a school zone. But under state law, violators have three points added to their license.