CEDAR Park, Texas (KXAN) — Cedar Park Police are warning drivers to use extra caution in school zones after two students were struck and injured within the past two days near their high schools.
On Monday at Vista Ridge High School, an adult struck a student-cyclist trying to cross the street. Then Tuesday morning, a different driver collided with a student-pedestrian who had the right-of-way on a crosswalk.
The mother of the student hit on Tuesday said her son received treatment at Dell Children’s Medical Center for a fractured pelvis and sprained wrist.
The police are using these two incidents to make precautionary statements to their community.
“When you are near a school, no matter what time of day it is, please use extra caution, please put your cell phone down, please keep your eyes on the road and please look out for kids,” said Officer Rodney Wilk with Cedar Park Police’s Traffic and Enforcement Division. Wilk released the PSA in a tweet sent out Tuesday morning.
If you’re keeping your eyes on the road, the school zones are hard to miss.
“You’ll see students. You’ll see flashing lights. And you’ll also see police officers monitoring those zones to ensure the safety of the kids,” said Sergeant Jessie Campbell with the Cedar Park Police. “But it only takes a second to veer off and create an accident.”
While the two kids are in stable condition, the students KXAN spoke to say they see erratic and dangerous driving in the school zones every day.
“Usually when I see a car coming, I’ll just stop or I just run to the other side,” said Kayla Chu, a junior at Cedar Park High School who walks with her sister every day.
“I always have one ear bud in, one ear bud out and I always have a sixth sense if there is a car coming,” said Santiago Martinez-Martinez, a freshman at Cedar Park High who rides his bike to class every day.
But these students also say its not only the driver’s fault. It’s also up to the students who walk and bike to class to remain vigilant. And Sgt. Cambell agrees. He said it’s important to talk to your kids about being aware of their surroundings if they choose to get to school by themselves.
“It’s kind of a deal where you have to work together as citizens to ensure the safety of kids in school zones,” Sgt. Cambell said.
Stopping for buses
Another problem putting students at risk: drivers not following the laws around school buses.
Three years ago, Austin I-S-D released video of two students getting hit by cars. They both walked away with minor scrapes and bruises, but it’s hard to watch.
In one of the crashes, the driver does not appear to hit the brakes until only a few feet away from the teenager. That’s as the school bus stop sign is extended out and flashing. During the first week of school that year, AISD said cameras caught around 1,000 drivers ignoring stop signs on buses.
Tonight on KXAN News at 9 & 10, Alex Caprariello will show which school zone intersections were the focus of these incidents so you can take steps to keep your students safe.