CMS parents want drivers to pay attention when approaching crosswalks

CMS parents want drivers to pay attention when approaching crosswalks

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) parent is on a campaign to keep students safe who use a crosswalk while going to school. Kimberly Smith has a son who attends Rama Road Elementary School. She walks him to school regularly. One day while picking him up, she says a driver almost hit her while attempting to use the crosswalk.

"I almost stepped out," CMS parent Kimberly Smith said. "One car blew right in front of me and I pointed up at the light and car behind that screeched to a halt."

Smith says there was even a conversation with the driver who slammed on brakes.

"The man that screeched to a halt screamed out of his car window at me and told me to calm down - it was just a mistake and I said 'no I will not calm down - it's an elementary school,'" Smith said.

She was so bothered by that conversation, she wanted to sound the alarm and bring awareness to this issue.

"Most drivers are distracted. Looking down at their phones or maybe in a habit of driving through this way without realizing there is a traffic light,"  Smith said.

Delores Proctor has been a CMS crossing guard for three years. She works at Rama Road and Idlewild Elementary.

Here is the process, when she hits the button so students can cross the street, sounds are made and the lights turn red to inform drivers to stop. She says  sometimes that doesn't happen. She says she has almost been hit by cars numerous times. She says cars do the unthinkable just to get around her.

"And if I am out there, it's no problem with them coming down the middle lane swerving over to get to the curb lane so they don't have to stop," Proctor said.

The crossing guard also says drivers are sometimes rude to her while she is helping students cross the street.

"Cussed out, threatened, just everything and most of it at Idlewild," Proctor said.

Both principals at Idlewild and Rama are concerned about speeding and inattentive drivers. Police are also concerned. They have beefed up their patrols but admit they cannot be at both schools at all times.

Smith and Proctor say they will continue to speak out until drivers slow down and pay attention.

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