A shortage of school crossing guards has parents at one local elementary school taking matters into their own hands.
Drivers are caught on camera making illegal u-turns, parking in red zones, blocking the crosswalk completely, double parking and speeding. These are just some of the blatant violations that parents say happen every day out in front of Tomiyasu Elementary School near Russell and Annie Oakley.
Gina Greisen says, "We've had three children hit out here in the past four years."
Parent organizer Gina Greisen knows this is also going on in school zones all over the valley. And because crossing guards and traffic cops can't cover every intersection, volunteers are taking matters into thieir own hands.
On Wednesday, they handed out fake tickets and safety information to violators. And they rewarded good drivers and safety-conscious students with thank-you notes. But these parents say they are especially discouraged to discover other parents are the worst offenders.
Greisen says, "It's hard for kids to want to follow the laws if their parents are breaking them too. We really do need people to be aware of what they're doing. "
Fifth grader Erika Greisen commented, "A lot of people park right in the crosswalk and parents shouldn't do that."
Of course, these parents have no real authority under the law to issue actual citations. They're just hoping this whole experience leaves a lasting impression on these school zone violators.
Metro Police are aggressively recruiting crossing guards. If you would like more information, you can call 229-3446.
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