Radar signs help ease school safety concerns - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Radar signs help ease school safety concerns

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A follow-up on a story we first told you about earlier this year, about big problems with speeders in school zones in the Vail Unified School District. Since our report highlighting those problems back in April, things have definitely been improving. 

"I've seen an improvement. We still have those flyers, a few of them,” longtime crossing guard, Tammy Dayton, told News 4 Tucson.

Tammy is a crossing guard who spends her mornings and afternoons making sure kids safely get to and from school, without having to worry about rush-hour traffic.

“All the kids have a special spot in my heart, and I want to keep them safe,” Tammy told us.

When we first met Tammy, she had experienced a number of close calls, with drivers failing to slow down to 15 miles per hour. One driver was actually cited by police, after driving into a school crossing sign.

“It makes me sad inside that everybody can't take just five minutes to slow down in my crossing zone,” Tammy said.

Now, there is a new addition in the school zone along Bilby Road just west of Houghton. It’s a radar sign that lets drivers know exactly how fast they're going as they approach the crosswalk. It also lets the district track home many cars are going through the school zone each day.

"We were watching traffic before we got these signs. We believe traffic has slowed down substantially,” John Nunes, Vail’s Director of Safety and Security said.

Nunes told us, the signs are not punitive, but are simply a reminder to slow your speed down. It’s an idea that seems to be working. Tammy said the sign, plus adding another* crossing guard are important steps. However, she still sees drivers, who simply don't follow the law – but not as many as before.

The district is now looking at setting up additional signs that are paid for with money generated by ads on school buses. It's all part of the effort make sure that kids, and the people who watch out for them, get home in one piece.

“You're not going to gain additional time, it's a matter of seconds if you're going through the speed zone at 25, compared to 15, so just slow down,” Nunes said.

“It takes one minute to get past a school zone. One minute. You're not going to be that late. Slow down. Look out for my kids.” added Tammy.

Again, the speed limit in a school zone is 15 miles per hour. If you get pulled over for speeding, the fine amount will be doubled.

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