LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Though the morning and evening commutes may be hectic, one Las Vegas elementary school crossing guard and parents told 8 News Now drivers have been overlooking the safety of children and breaking Nevada state law during drop-off and pick-up.
20 minutes of “chaos” is how Fred Hubbs described the moments before and after the bell rings at Sandra Lee Thompson Elementary School.
The “thunderous herd” traveling around the northwest valley school is primarily a mix of Pre-K to fifth graders, he said.
“By 2:20 p.m., some 60 to 70 kids plus parents and siblings have crossed,” Hubbs said before the afternoon rush at the Campbell Road and Severance Lane intersection Monday morning.
Specifically, the intersection is where he described seeing most drivers defy state law that aims to protect student pedestrians. NRS 484B states that U-turns cannot be made within areas designated as school zones 30 minutes before and after school is in session, and anytime children are present.
The two crosswalks, one across Campbell Rd. and the other across Severance Ln., are located within the school zone. A nearby sign designates them as such.
Within the 30 minutes, 8 News Now observed the intersection Monday afternoon when school let out, a total of five cars made the illegal U-turn with children either still somewhere in the crosswalk or waiting on a street corner.
Parents say the U-turn opportunity is more convenient when dropping off or picking up their kids than utilizing the legal opportunities that require a further distance to travel. Regardless, the illegal U-turns have other parents choosing different ways to get their children to or from class.
“It’s a mess every day,” Lisa Garcia said while waiting to pick up her child Monday afternoon. She says she sees both speeding and U-turns daily.
“I just don’t feel comfortable with (my daughter) walking across. There’s no stop sign either, so (drivers) just go,” Branelly Cardenas said while waiting to pick up her child just a few cars in front of Garcia.
A typical fine for an unlawful U-turn in Las Vegas is around $230, according to Shouse Law Group. It also carries three demerit points on a license, with 12 or more points in a year leading to a six-month license suspension, according to the Nevada DMV website.
“Have you seen a kid walk? They don’t,” Hubbs said, detailing his safety concern for the students he helps walk across the street every weekday.