Wrong-way driving creating safety concerns outside Omaha elementary school | #schoolsaftey

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – 6 News is helping parents tackle a problem that they say could potentially take lives: driving the wrong way down a one-way road near Florence Elementary School.

“I feel like it’s selfish, I feel like their only regard is for themselves,” said one parent.

“I get scared when my children get out of school,” another parent said.

From 8 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon, 36th Street in front of Florence Elementary School is a one-way street.

But the “Do Not Enter” signs are being ignored by some, and it’s sparking concerns for other parents like Desiree Byrne, who has two kids in the school

“Why aren’t these parents taking this seriously?” she said.

“They’re not thinking about the consequences of other people and other people’s children,” said Lauren Mayo, who has a daughter in the school.

Both Byrne and Mayo say every day around 4 p.m. when school gets out, other school parents are constantly driving in the wrong direction down the road.

“When you have children coming out at 4 o’clock, they’re like dispersing and going in all different directions, and when you have cars coming in directions they’re not supposed to be coming, that is potential for disaster in my opinion,” Mayo said.

In a 45-minute span, 6 News witnessed at least seven cars go the wrong way down the street.

Parents tell me the wrong-way driving isn’t the only problem, either.

They say some parents are parking along the one-way road, which then causes kids to run across the street where there are no crosswalks.

Combine that with the wrong-way traffic, and these parents say an accident is waiting to happen.

“It is a huge concern, cause what if a child gets hit by a car? Then what?” said Byrne.

“You could potentially not see a child running out from behind another car, and you could hit them and that has life-changing consequences,” Mayo said.

Since the start of the school year in August, the school’s principal has sent out two reminders to all school parents about school pick-up protocols, and asking parents not to park along the one-way road.

“Please do not stop or park along 36th Street to wait for your student,” the first email reads.

“Students are not allowed to run across the street to get in cars along this street. This is a safety issue and we do not want anyone hit by a car,” the next email reads.

“What if your child is the one that gets hit by a car that’s going the wrong way? What are you going to do?” Byrne pleads, as a car behind her drives in the wrong direction down the street.

Parents say they’ve reached out to Omaha Police to get support in enforcing safety around the school during pick-up times, but their attempts have been unsuccessful.

After 6 News called Omaha Police, the parent-teacher organization was notified that police would now patrol the area as much as possible.

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