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The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

Richland 2 implements decision to change role of crossing guards

Cherish Bostick
A shot of Richland Northeast’s main point of entry and exit at the front of the school. Due to the lack of a traffic director, cars have been facing more difficulty maneuvering through traffic on the main road than before.

This past August, Richland School District 2 announced that it was no longer allowing crossing guards and safety officers to direct traffic in areas other than school crossing zones.

The decision came about after Richland 2 found out that it was against the law for crossing guards to “direct traffic in the usual law enforcement regulatory sense,” according to a statute passed by the United States Department of Transportation.

The district’s new superintendent Dr. Kim Moore released a statement on August 16 clarifying what that meant for students and teachers at schools within its vicinity. “Crossing guards will only stop traffic to allow for students to safely cross the street and enter the school grounds,” said Moore. “[They] will only be staffing crossing zones within our school speed zones.”

Moore said Richland 2 would continue working with Richland County to try to move crossings to more convenientĀ  locations within school zones. However, she asserted that the school could not continue breaking the law to allow crossing guards direct car lines entering or exiting the school, which she said caused some concern among the community. “Let me reassure you, we are exhausting all options to utilize off-duty deputies to provide traffic assistance while still being compliant with the law,” said Moore.

Moore ended the video with saying there was “no quick and easy solution” to the situation regarding the flow of traffic in and out of schools. “While we always appreciate your feedback, we want to empower and encourage parents to reach out to your legislative representatives, your county members, and the United States Department of Transportation… to help us provide a long-term solution to this issue.”

According to WACH Fox-57, school officials are working to provide an effective measure of traffic control, such as the installation of traffic lights.

But on September 22, Richland Northeast High School teacher Susan Matthews got into a car accident as she was leaving the campus at the end of the school day. “While I was in my lane, one student who was supposed to stop… just went. He didn’t stop long enough to ensure that the road was safe, and it caused [the crash],” she said. Matthews said she lost control of the car and had to maneuver it to a safer area to avoid colliding with anyone else. She fortunately didn’t suffer any injuries.

Matthews believes the accident could have been altogether avoided if there had been some measure of traffic control, especially at that particular point of entry. That said, if the district decides to implement any sort of traffic direction, it may have to occur in a timely manner to prevent any more collisions.

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