News 4 Schools: Authorities, parents work to reduce accidents at Hazelwood crosswalk


by Sharon Reed / News 4

Posted on September 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 10:38 AM

 (KMOV) –More than 300 children 14 and younger die every year in pedestrian and bicycling accidents. Some parents tell News 4 a school crosswalk in Hazelwood is an accident waiting to happen.

A parent captured on video a car running through a yellow light as the crossing guard blows her whistle outside Russell Elementary on Howdershell Road.

"I' m scared for her, I’m scared for any kids who crosses that street," said Julie Michel.

Michel walks her two grandchildren to and from school every day. She said drivers speed through the area and ignore the lights.

While News 4 crews were standing at the crosswalk, two cars rolled through the yellow lights as one swerved a little to avoid striking the crossing guard.

"She told me this morning she was standing there in the middle of that intersection holding her blinking sign while kids were crossing, the light went from red to green and she wasn't out of the way yet but she was still holding her sign as five cars decided to go on through "

News 4 set up a radar gun at the crosswalk to see how fast drivers were traveling in the area. Sharon Reed clocked drivers at 42, 40, 37, and 43 with a posted speed limit of 30.

A few blocks away, Reed spotted a Hazelwood Police officer pulling over two vehicles.

Michel told News 4, she knows the school and police are doing all they can, it’s the drivers she has the problem with.

“When my 9-year-old granddaughter says I’m in 4th grade when do I get to walk to school? Never because it’s too dangerous,” said Michel.

Any school crosswalk can be dangerous but with two elementary schools within a mile of each other along with the heavy traffic on Howdershell, Hazelwood Police say the area is a problem.

Thanks to a federal grant, the police were able to place extra emphasis around Russell Elementary.

From April 2012 to April 2013, officers made more than 1,200 traffic stops and wrote more than 1,400 citations and made seven arrests.