Drivers, heads up! School’s back-in session.
…Which means more kids are walking around everywhere.
New Orleans Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell spearheads a local “call-out” to stop school zones from becoming danger zones Wednesday at Harney Elementary in Central City, “This is only to protect the safety of our children.”
The intense awareness campaign kicks off this school year to remind anyone who drives a car, pay extra attention, “All drivers to take precaution. What were truly doing this afternoon is being proactive, our schools have started back.”
The tragedy inflicted last school year was that of 6-year-old Shaud Williams who was hit and killed by a motorist while walking to his bus stop.
The school’s principal Eileen Williams says she’s noticed over the years, kids walking in and around school safety zones are in more danger than ever before, “In the post-Katrina world, schools are responsible for their own crossing guards. The challenge for us is that we are by a major highway. Plus, so many of our kids ride busses now. They’re at bus stops very early in the morning and late in the afternoons.”
Operating a mobile devise is now illegal in school zones state wide, “Especially put that cell phone down if you’re in a school zone,” says Cantrell.
Williams says efforts to turn the school-zone safety factor in a more safe direction, help for Harney Elementary is on the way, “Coming as a part of this new highway reconstruction. New signage, flashing beacons and lighted crosswalks. So we’re excited about that.”
The councilwoman created what’s called a ‘school transportation safety working group’ who will address school-zone-safety issues from here on out.