Town hall meeting addresses bus stop safety after Charlotte HS student killed

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Bus stop safety is at the front of many Charlotte parent's minds, especially for those who live in the Steele Creek area of southwest Charlotte.

Zoe Deen, 15, was killed when she was struck by a car near her stop, earlier this week.

"You know, people drive very fast down that highway," student Bryce Times says. "It's been like that since we got there."

Bryce Times catches his bus at the stop just after the one where his classmate was killed Tuesday morning. His mom, Tamara Times, say the trouble with traffic at both stops is nothing new.

"I've always had fear," Tamara Times said. "And now it's just heightened."

The mother and son joined a group Thursday for a town hall with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney and Representative Chaz Beasley. The topic had been set to school safety, and much of it shifted to bus stops – and the search for solutions.

"If we can find a better way to strategically place our bus stops…see if we can get more lighting around bus stops," Beasley said.

Both leaders say they've been working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the superintendent to put some of these solutions into place.

"We're enhancing our enforcement in that area as well, trying to pay attention to the crosswalks," Putney said.

Parents like Tamara Times are eager to see talk turn to action. "These are the issues we've been dealing with for a long time, and have been asking for assistance with for a long time," she says.

She wants to hear from the school system, too, before she sends her son back to his stop. "Something has to be done right now to avoid any more," Tamara Times said.

At the meeting, other topics were discussed, including general school campus safety after the shooting at a Parkland, Florida school. Chief Putney voiced his idea of searching every person who enters a CMS school with a metal detector wand, including students.

"Don't get me wrong, I don't want to have to screen students and staff…it's not what I want to do," he said. "But I think it's the best way to make sure no one gets a gun inside."

Beasley heard parents voice interest in speaking directly to Superintendent Clayton Wilcox Thursday night. He says he is now looking into hosting a second town hall in the area.

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