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Ignoring speed a dangerous trend

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 26, 2001
Meridian Public Schools officials say they agree with police that most drivers ignore speed limits in school zones.
About half of Carver's 525 children walk to school each day, he said. Other children cross the busy street on their way to West End and Harris elementary schools. Children further east on Eighth Street cross to attend Kate Griffin Junior High School.
Last year, a Carver child was injured when he was struck by a car while attempting to cross Eighth Street, Markham said.
Carver officials warn students over the intercom to cross the four-lane street only in designated areas and to wait for the walk signal before crossing, habits that parents need to reinforce, Markham said.
Since the children "are going to be kids," and probably not comply with the rules at all times, it is ultimately the responsibility of drivers to comply with speed limits and place the safety of children first, he said.
MPS Transportation Director Jason Chisolm said his office often receives complaints that drivers ignore stopped school buses and whiz around buses that are picking up and dropping off children. The problem escalated into two to three complaints a day last school year, Chisolm said.
Mary Jones, principal of Harris Upper Elementary School, said there are 15 mph signs posted along 39th Avenue, where children cross to school, but not all driver's obey the law.
Last year, a child from her school was struck as he crossed 39th Avenue at 11th Street, she said. That driver was obeying the speed limit posted there, according to officials.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at
Did you know?
During a 10-minute period beginning at 7:35 a.m. last Friday, The Meridian Star found all 49 motorists observed traveling through a school zone on Eighth Street ignored the zone's 15 mph speed limit. One vehicle was clocked at 59 mph; four school buses not only exceeded the zone's 15 mph limit but also the street's 35 mph limit.