Yakima Crossing Guards Concerned With Distracted Drivers and Spe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Crossing Guards Concerned With Distracted Drivers and Speeders in School Zones

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YAKIMA, WA.- There are dozens of schools in the Yakima School District, so just imagine how many kids are walking to those schools every day. After we did some digging we found out many of the school zones are a traffic and safety hazard.


Mireya Castillo is a crossing guard at Roosevelt Elementary, she's been helping out for 10 years and says distracted drivers and speeding in school zones is a regular occurrence, "I would say it's getting worse every year, people are just not respecting the traffic rules, they're in a hurry every time and they're on their cell phones."


However the problem isn't going unnoticed by local law enforcement, just this year Yakima Police gave out 379 traffic infractions in school zones.  

"It's not uncommon to have three vehicles stopped within the school zone time in the afternoon," Traffic Officer Scott Grant told us.      

Officer Grant even told us they're short staffed, right now they only have three officers who actively patrol school zones. He says the officers they do have try to enforce what they call high target areas, "The school zones that are placed on the arterials, like Lincoln Avenue, and Nob Hill Boulevard, those big four lane arterials are where we notice an increased problem with the speeders."


Roosevelt crossing guard Jennifer Platt told us she's worried for the kids safety and even her own sometimes, "A guy went through the turn signal on red and drove right between my flag and the kids, it's honestly kind of scary out there."


Crossing guards we spoke with told us they aren't sure what will get people to slow down, but they have suggested more signs and school zone lights to the district.