Minot parents concerned over drivers speeding through school zones

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – With more than 15 school campuses within Minot city limits, early mornings and mid-afternoons are busy with traffic and students getting to and from school.

In school zones, drivers can go up to 20 miles per hour. Some parents of students in Minot are calling for more safety around schools, after they say their child was nearly hit by a driver speeding through a school zone.

All motorists should be familiar with these signs, but some parents in the Magic City say that not all drivers follow them.

“Cars speed, they go really fast around the school. They don’t go 20 miles per hour like they are supposed to, and children have almost been hit, and children have been hit I’ve heard from other parents,” said Jeanie DePillo, a parent.

DePillo is not the only parent from Edison afraid for their kid’s safety.

“It makes me nervous when he is crossing. The other day when he almost got hit, that parent she was dropping her child off and never once looked to see if there was a child crossing the street or anything. She just likely hit the gas,” said Ashley Keith, another parent.

Both agreeing that more signage and police monitoring could be very helpful.

“I also think that police officers should watch people closer at schools. I mean it happens all the time, I see it every day,” said DePillo.

Minot Police Officer Aaron Moss explained that school resources officers often monitor school zones as well as patrol divisions, however they cannot be everywhere at all times.

“Contact the police department, request an extra patrol at that time that it seems to be most prevalent,” said Moss.

Edison Elementary will be undergoing nearly a half a million dollars in safety upgrades next year, through a grant with the state’s transportation alternatives.

These will include new crosswalks, sidewalks, and signage. But until the project is completed, parents ask drivers to slow down and pay attention.

“I would ask them how they would feel if they hit a child? They know how the parents would feel, but how would they feel if they hit a child?” asked DePillo.

The safety project will go up for bidding next winter and should be making improvements by the summer.

On the national level, Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, is part of a bipartisan effort to push for safer routes to schools for students, known as the Safe Routes to all Schools Act.

Previous efforts from Congress focused on elementary and middle schools, though the current act would include high schoolers. The bill has yet to be discussed.

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