RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Leaders in Washoe County are teaming up to protect students who are walking to and from school.
Several close calls have already been reported in school zones.
“We have seen people go through that crosswalk going 40 and actively engaged in texting,” said Kelly Carr speaking on behalf of parents for the PTO.
She says 40 percent of cars going through crosswalks in school zones do so with parents and students in them.
“Luckily for us we haven’t had any accidents,” said Lt. Jason Stallcop of the Reno Police Department.
Extra attention is going to JWood Raw Elementary School at 10600 Green Pasture Drive in Reno because it’s new this school year.
Councilwoman Naomi Duerr raised concerns about safety and is on board to help find solutions with the Washoe County School Board of Trustees, Reno Police and School Police.
Trees were trimmed to make signs more visible, a crossing guard system was created with flags and vests for the guards, and flashing signs were put in place to remind drivers to slow down.
“We have five or six lanes here; the ones on the side are not sufficient and that comes at a cost and the school district will bear that cost through their capital program. I’ll tell you it brought tears to my eyes when President Smith called me today and let me know,” Duerr said.
President Beth Smith is the President of the WCSD Board of Trustees.
Her board found the funding to pay for the lights over the road.
“Paying attention on our roadways and in our school zones is a matter of life or death,” President Smith said.
Drivers who speed through a school zone could be fined up to $450. This fine doubles to $900 if students or parents are in a nearby crosswalk.
So far this year, 21 citations have been handed out in the school zone along Rio Wrangler way near JWood Elementary. Most of the offenders are high school students.
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