Parents complain of speeders near Region 8 school

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Region 8 News received an email from a concerned parent of a student at Fox Meadow Elementary. In the email, the woman indicated motorists were speeding and not paying attention to children in the morning and afternoon hours. According to the email, the woman's two children were almost hit when she was escorting them across Fox Meadow Lane.

Region 8 News asked the Jonesboro Police Department to run radar on some of these drivers Tuesday afternoon. While our camera was rolling, police clocked some motorists traveling at 38 miles an hour. The posted speed limit is 25 miles an hour.

"This year, we have not received any complaints about traffic. But we have noticed, through our own observations in the past, that we have had a speeding issue on Fox Meadow Lane. Any time we observe that, we do call the city police," said Amy Floyd, Principal at Fox Meadow Elementary. "If you could have a partnership with another parent possibly to help walk your child across the street if you have to go to work and your not available, or if your not able to supervise your child in the morning time because of other obligations."

Floyd said two teachers assist children who walk across Fox Meadow Lane in the afternoons. She said it's difficult for teachers to help those children who walk in the morning because they arrive at different times.

"For the afternoon, it is a much more controlled environment because we have a set time every day that our students leave our building. They walk with two faculty members across the street to make sure the traffic is stopped for the students before they ever cross the road and get onto the other side with the sidewalks," said Floyd.

Region 8 News talked to several parents Tuesday morning as they walking their children to school. Most of them said they've had problems with motorists in the past.

"A lot of times I have to stand out in the street to get the traffic to adhere to the people that's trying to cross," said Nicholas McFarland. "Pedestrians have the right of way, especially in the crosswalk. When you don't pay attention to the crosswalk, a major accident could happen. When people are flying through, not paying attention to children, cars usually sit up higher than children anyway, so at any given time a child can walk through and not even be paying attention to the traffic."

McFarland, a father of 3, has lived across the street from Fox Meadow Elementary for five years. He said his nightmare is that a child is hit by a car.

"I'm from a bigger city and I've seen children get hit by cars and it's not a pretty sight," said McFarland. "I'm pretty sure most people who come through here have children, so you have to kind of put yourself, if you're already a parent, you shouldn't have to put yourself in another parent's place."

Floyd said police officers cannot be out at the school every morning. She said she contacts police when she notices a severe problem.

"We do, on occasion, have those students walking unattended from their neighborhood across the street of Fox Meadow Lane into our facility," said Floyd. "A lot of our walkers, because of the age of our students, which is usually from 5 to 8 years old, will be walked in by their parents, so that will help with that concern."

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