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Concern grows following crossing guard close-call - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Concern grows following crossing guard close-call

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There are safety concerns in Vail, after a close call with a school crossing guard.

This isn't the first time Kristi's Kids has been called about problems in school zones. Year after year, some drivers are out there breaking basic traffic laws.    

“She's very scared to come out here every day,” said Keith Dayton, about his wife, Tammy, who is a crossing guard in the Vail school district.

Tammy has been putting herself at risk, all to keep kids safe, he said.

“There are so many close calls. I get her telling me about one or two of them every week,” Kevin told Kristi’s Kids.

One close call happened just last week. According to school officials, a parent ran into a school zone sign. The incident shook Tammy and her husband.

“I'm always afraid that I'm going to get a call from the school or from the fire department that she's been hit,” Kevin Dayton told Kristi’s Kids.

“It's going to take someone getting injured or killed, for something to be done,” said Melissa Douglas, a nearby resident.

She told Kristi’s Kids that even before that recent near-miss, she has called the police.

“I complained for three-weeks in a row, and it took another two weeks after that, for them to come out for one day,” Douglas said.

Kristi's Kids has seen this before.

In 2012, parents in Rita Ranch contacted us about people speeding in school zones, putting kids and crossing guards at risk. Two years later, our Kristi’s Kids team used a radar gun and spotted a SunTran driver and a Tucson Fire employee going more than 10 miles over the speed limit in a Downtown school zone.

“People are running late, and they just don't want to stop for crosswalks,” said John Nunes, Vail’s director of school safety and security.

Nunes told Kristi's Kids, police presence helps, but only for a while.

“If we've had law enforcement out here for a couple of days, and then they were gone, for at least a couple of weeks the traffic runs a little bit slower,” he said.

Even with town halls and school newsletters telling people to be alert in school zones, Nunes told us, some people still don’t get the message.  

“When you see a crossing guard in the intersection with his or her stop sign up, come to a complete halt and allow the students to completely clear the yellow crosswalk.”

“I just wish that everybody would slow down, and look around in a school zone. It doesn't matter if it's this one, or one across town, watch out for people, and for kids and crossing guards,” Keith Dayton said.

Kristi's Kids has learned the driver in last week's close call was cited. The Vail district is looking for more crossing guards to increase presence and to raise awareness that we all need to keep kids safe. 

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