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Distracted drivers makes school zones dangerous

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 23:41:45-05

School zones are some of the most congested areas around town, which makes driving defensively a must.

They typically are packed with school buses coming or going, parents dropping off or picking up their kids, or people passing through heading to and from work.

The posted speed limit for school zones throughout the area is 15 to 20 miles per hour.

In most cases drivers are greeted with signs and blinking lights letting them know they're entering a school zone. But despite the warnings drivers still break the law.

Kristina Nelson said she often sees drivers on their phones, putting on makeup, texting and, in most cases -- speeding -- on Glen oak Drive and on Waldron Road, near the Flour Bluff ISD schools.

In an area packed with kids, Nelson said she's concerned for the students -- including hers.

"I'm so scared that these kids are going to get hit and somebody is going to get seriously injured or killed," she said.

Nelson has three kids in the Flour Bluff School District. What she sees every morning and afternoon on Glen Oak Drive has her worried about child safety, especially since sidewalks aren't available all the way down both sides of the street. She said children are at risk if drivers aren't paying attention.

"I see it across Waldron as well, but all the way down Glen Oak, folks are just speeding everyday when there are kids walking across the road," she said.

Every year across the country 60,000 accidents happen involving pedestrians, many of those happening in school zones. Officers patrol these areas to make sure kids stay safe, and they're not just looking for speeders.

Corpus Christi Police Department Senior Officer Lonnie Humitz said he is looking for any infraction that could but a child -- or even the driver -- at risk.

"I'm looking for seat belt violations, I'm looking for registrations and I'm looking for cell phones," he said.

Humitz let KRIS 6 News ride along with him one day recently, and less than 10 minutes in, his radar picked up on a speeder. It's not unusual for an officers to hand out up to 10 citations in a sitting.

But despite officers' efforts, some drivers continue to put kids at risk, which worries Nelson.

"We really need somebody out here monitoring Glen Oak and writing tickets so people are aware that we are watching," she said.

The way Humitz sees it, one child's life lost is one too many.

"A lot of folks that I pull over say, 'It's only six miles over the speed limit,' " Humitz said. "If that kid jumped out in front of you, with that extra six miles are you going to be able to stop?"

To report an erratic driver, or a driver not obeying the law, send an email to saferoadsforcc@cctexas.com