Crossing guard calls for drivers to slow down in school zones

With an officer watching drivers and students on Birch and Balcom in Eau Claire, Helen Finch says people drove much slower on Friday in that area than they usually do.

“I'm sure some of them are going at least 50,” Finch said of the drivers who normally travel past the school zone.

So she and the Eau Claire School District are calling on drivers to slow down way before the block surrounding any school now that kids are back in class.

“We have children walking or riding their bikes sometimes much longer distances than that,” Superintendent Ron Heilmann said.

Eau Claire Police say they do plan to watch the area near Longfellow Elementary School a little more closely. They also say they've already been approved for an automated sign that shows drivers what speed they're going as they come toward it.

“When school starts up, it's kind of a nice reminder that we need to slow down and pay attention,” said Lt. Chad Hoyord of the Eau Claire Police Department.

Helen says she understands construction in the city has lots of people using Birch Street.

“If they'd just slow down through the school crossing and watch the school crossing that would be the best,” Finch said.

It’s because she wants students’ lives to be more important than a quick commute.

Helen says there usually isn't an officer at the school zone during the afternoons.

Eau Claire Police say emergencies sometimes pull officers away from those areas.

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