All Eyes on the School Zone

Ciara Hendricks, ENN Staff

On September 6th, a Lake Ridge student was hit by a Lake Ridge student driver. Many factors come into play as to the cause of the accident. One such factor includes the school zone. Due to the original school zone location, cars are driving at 45 mph and have no inclination to stop until they are just south of the main drive in front of Lake Ridge. Recent events have proven that the safety of Lake Ridge students are at risk and extending the school zone towards the bridge past The Church at Rush Creek may help prevent future accidents. Lake Ridge Principal, Brandon Johnson, clarifies that the school has no say on where the school zone is located.

“A lot of people think that the school zones are controlled by the district or the school, and actually school zones are controlled by the city entities who work with textile. The way our school was set up, it ended up in the middle of the school. Luckily, the city of Mansfield has come through to get that school zone extended to the Rush Creek area,” stated Johnson.

Administrators at Lake Ridge, such as Tambia Wesco, Facilities Associate Principal, have discussed many possibilities for ways that Lake Ridge can help guide traffic. 

“Ideally, it would be to do what we are doing now, which is lengthening school zones,” said Wesco.

Another factor involved is that of The Church at Rush Creek, the church across from the school that many students and parents park at. It is safe to say, based on recent events, that The Church at Rush Creek is unsafe to walk to from the school campus. It is now no longer an option for parking outside of church hours, for parents or students, according to Pastor Jeff Kirkpatrick.

“It is something we have been pushing back against for several years now. We have really focused on trying to keep the kids out of the parking lot since day one. Since the incident, one of the things we’ve not wanted to do was tow cars, but they’ve really left us with no other option,” Kirkpatrick said.

Johnson believes that knowledge of how to be safe and why we must follow traffic procedures is very important. 

“The best thing we can do is awareness. We have tried to make sure our parents are aware of our parking procedures and drop off, we have made our students aware through our discipline meetings that students are not to park across the street or in neighborhoods,” states Johnson.