Crossing guards in Berkeley County bear a heavy load

It's a safe driving effort that kicked off in Berkeley County called “Drive Like Your Child Lives Here”. It's a plan to get law enforcement and the school community more involved in stopping dangerous drivers around Sangaree Schools off Royal Road.

Will a new effort be enough to keep things safe at an intersection where two crossing guards have been run over in the past nine months and some say the worst has yet to happen—

In some circles the campaign called, “Drive Like Your Child Lives Here” may be considered a bold and proactive approach to combine the efforts of the school community and Sheriff's Deputies to bring about safe change for kids and parents.

But the catchy and thoughtful title is more a facade to possibly shine up desperation, a last ditch effort from district officials who say they have done all they can do, and are at a loss to stop what some say is a looming disaster.

If there is a barometer for the size of this danger it's the crossing guards. Their stop signs and yellow vests are a paper cup against fire hose. They are over-run with a rush of traffic from all directions.

The scene was a little less chaotic on Friday due to the, tentative but beefed up deputy presence but the danger is real says crossing guard Elizabeth Taylor.

She not only has to endure a daily dose of obscenities from inpatient passing drivers, she also faced down a speeding car last week as a child entered the crosswalk-

“They proceeded to just bump around me almost go into the ditch and knocked my sign, spin me around”

What's more, past critical injuries for another crossing guard who was run over last May at the same intersection.

The events are reminders for Taylor, who has children at Sangaree that it's not a matter of if a tragedy will happen but when. It seems to bring on a growing feeling of helplessness along with the thankless and daunting task of trying to stop it, and the heavy load forced tears.

“I'm going to cry because we love them and we feel like this place is a death trap for them so we stay out in the road and stop them and that's what we do, said Taylor.

While the district feels just as strongly about the dangers, they are obviously forced to leave emotion out of it. Reacting the only way they can– trying to get the public involved.

Meantime without a major construction project there is no real solution to this problem. A traffic officer in the middle of the intersection at peak times my certainly help, but the school says it's not in their budget because Sangaree has to pay for that officers time.

 

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