Streets of Speed - Zapped ECISD elementary to get lighted crosswalks
There always seems to be varying reaction to the Speedzapper.
"I love it," one parent said. Some people see it as a welcome sight. Mary Lou Pecina calls it necessary action to get drivers to slow down. "That means you're keeping a track on us," she said. "Making sure that we're slow for the safety of the children." For others, the Speedzapper has become a celebrity of sorts. "I saw you and told my kids... 'The news guy is here with the Speedzapper,'" Melissa Gonzalez said! But to drivers who find themselves on the other side of the radar gun, the Speedzapper's presence can turn a tad unwanted. "Was I driving a little fast," asked one motorist who was questioned for speeding? Truman Elementary School on West Rogers Road in Edinburg is where this week's zapping takes place. Melissa Gonzalez is a parent at the school. "I'll even do hand gestures in my mirror like 'hey... My kids come to school here,'" Gonzalez explained. Speeds varied on the Action 4 News radar. Many were caught driving above the posted school zone speed limit at 20 miles per hour. There are flashing yellow lights at the top of the signage. Some fear a speeder could harm students not only at the elementary school but also ones from nearby Edinburg North High School. The track team uses Roger Road to practice on. The street is also a pickup and drop off point for elementary parents who don't wait in the school TMs parking lot line. Judy Ann Perez started waiting in the line after she was nearly hit by a speeding vehicle while trying to cross the street. There are no painted crosswalks or school crossing guards on duty. "I myself used to cross the first week of school here... I stopped doing it because I almost was hit by a parent... So I refuse to park across the street... I drive around and wait to pick her up," Perez said. A home health worker was zapped in a company vehicle speeding 10 miles per hour over the limit. Yvonne Gonzalez said she simply wasn't paying attention. She lives blocks from the school. "I live right there I was just going to give a patient some insulin... I just wasn't paying attention." Whether a person likes or dislikes the zapping every Tuesday on Action 4 News, Melissa Gonzalez said nobody can argue the program helps to get a very important message out"safety. "I love that you guys are out here cause if it wasn't for you this area wouldn't get any attention... I've never seen any patrols out here... Ever... Maybe now they'll bring some cops out here," she said. A school district public information office worker said plans are in the works to build lighted crosswalks at the elementary school. The district received an 11 million dollar grant to make school safety improvements at nearly 30 campuses in all. Parents we're urged by the district to wait in line for student pick up and drop off. They did not want parents to park across the street citing potential safety concerns to the Speedzapper.