East Lansing drivers not stopping for school crossing guards

Drivers keep blowing through an East Lansing crosswalk that dozens of students use to get to Glencairn Elementary School each day. Two close calls this week now have police on alert.

Crossing guard Ruth Chapman was standing in the middle of Harrison Road about to walk a group of students to school, when a driver sped by Wednesday morning.

"Sorry is not going to cut it if you kill us," Chapman said. "One of the dads threw his umbrella at the windshield. He never stopped, slowed down, nothing. He just kept on going."

The dad and Chapman didn't stop there, contacting East Lansing Police so Thursday a patrol car stationed at the crosswalk. FOX 47's cameras were rolling on Thursday as another driver sped through, disregarding the officer and Chapman's stop sign.

"The speed limit is 25 for a reason in school areas," Chapman said.

State law requires drivers to stop as soon as the crossing guard steps into the crosswalk, but Chapman says every week at least one driver speeds through while she's stopping traffic.

East Lansing Police tell us its officers will have increased patrols around the school and if officers see enough violations over the next few days they might suggest changes to the road that will force drivers to slow down.

In the meantime, Chapman is taking the steps she can to keep her crosswalk safe. She added flashing lights to her stop sign and requires students to wait behind a line on the sidewalk until all traffic comes to a complete stop.

Those precautions are making a difference to parents like Brian Wheeler.

"Without that real level of care it could be a lot worse," Wheeler said.

He walks his fourth grade daughter to school everyday, and says he wishes more drivers would remember what's at stake when they speed by.

"Sometimes even when you have done things right, one child steps out into that road not paying attention, you can have a bad situation," Wheeler added.

With Chapman doing everything she can, she's asking drivers to step up and help keep her crosswalk the safest place for kids to get to school.

"All you need to do is slow down and pay attention," Chapman added.

Chapman and some parents have suggested adding speed bumps to the road but that would require a petition drive with at least 10,000 signatures. If drivers don't start slowing down Chapman says that may be the next step.