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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  • by Northside Location: EC on Sep 4, 2010 at 02:19 PM
    I used to drive Birch Street everday for work and witnessed people speeding through that area. When I would go the POSTED 15 miles per hour in a school zone, the cars behind me would come up very fast and be on my bummer throughout that area! PLEASE slow down and be very careful in school zones. Thank you to the wonderful crossing guards in this city that truly care for the kids.
  • by Becca Location: Eau Claire on Sep 4, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    From what I could tell from last year there was always an officer there in the morning, it was hit and miss for the afternoon. I think placing officers in the school zones during the days would be great, however I do understand that they can't always be there but if they go there at least a couple times a week before and after school it will make a difference
  • by Dave Location: Fall Creek on Sep 3, 2010 at 07:35 PM
    My kids went there up until last year and Helen and Mrs. Southworth do a great job working with the kids to be careful and very vigilant. I know she has had numerous drivers blow through her sign. I am glad to see the police patrolling even harder in that area. Someone is going to get hurt or killed. SLOW DOWN PEOPLE!!!!!!
  • by Mike Location: Eau Claire on Sep 3, 2010 at 07:07 PM
    This is very true about people wanting a quick commute, over safety of our kids. People need to slow down, but it also helps to have an officer out there to make a presence... we could use them at every school zone, but we certainly don't have enough officers for that. Good for this crossing guard for standing up and helping get this problem addressed.
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