NewsPasco County


Local mom concerned about elementary school kids crossing street without guard

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 06:16:53-05

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — A local mom is worried kids at a Zephyrhills elementary school could get hurt when they try to cross the street.

Angel English-Smith is not confident about her son's walk to West Zephyrhills Elementrary. She says many times there is no crossing guard and they have to wait for cars to stop on their own to dart across.

The Zephyrhills Police Department doesn’t have a crossing guard program currently in place. Officials say they try and send an officer out in the morning and afternoon to help the kids cross but if they have a call, they must go to that instead.

Pasco County Sheriffs Office says it has a guard at every elementary school in the county but not in places where schools fall under city jurisdiction.

"He’s a second grader, seven years old, ADHD. I can’t expect him to stay on the sidewalk. I just can’t. I expect the adults to follow the laws,” she said.

But she took videos that show cars not coming to a stop for students and parents attempting to cross.

"We do have signs and blinking lights when children are coming and going from the school and people are not stopping,” she said. "It’s a scary situation out here.”

It’s against the law to not stop for someone in an active school zone if they are trying to cross the street.

"My hugest concern is the children’s safety,” said English-Smith.

But the police department says it is listening. ABC Action News watched a Zephyrhills police officer pull someone over Tuesday afternoon for speeding in the 15 miles per hour school zone.

And 3 weeks ago they sent an officer to a crossing guard training seminar with plans to train volunteers in the near future as a more permanent solution. English-Smith worries not enough people will want to volunteer but says it’s a step in the right direction.

"It is very sad. It is very sad, and and I’m glad that things are progressing and I hope that they do, but more parent involvement would fix so many problems, so many problems,” she said.

The police department says the crossing guard program will start next year.