School Crossing Guards Express Concern Over Safety in Kent County
Seventy-seven-year-old Ron Donaway is a school crossing guard in Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC)
SMYRNA, Del.- Seventy-seven-year-old Ron Donaway is a school crossing guard in Smyrna.
"It's a very dangerous corner for children," said Donaway about the intersection of North Main and Commerce streets in Smyrna.
Donaway said his handheld stop sign does not always keep him safe. In fact, he said he was hit by a car.
"One of them did touch my leg one day but that's because she didn't see me," he said. "She was looking the opposite way and when I stepped out and saw what was happening, I threw the sign up in the windshield. She stopped."
Donaway is not the only crossing guard in the county who feels that way.
Some at Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Dover say the intersection located along Forrest Avenue near Gibbs Drive is causing them a bit of concern. School officials say ever since new electronic countdown devices were put into place by the Delaware Department of Transportation in December, it has caused nothing but headache.
"It's not giving us enough time for my children to cross fully. When drivers have the green light and I'm still in the road, they are still ready to go. You can hear the vehicle rev up. You can see the cars inching," said Bruce Stevens of Dover.
Stevens, who is a crossing guard at the school, said students are given 15 seconds to cross. Bruce said he has spoken to his supervisor of seeing how DelDOT could possibly add more seconds to the device.
"We almost had a child hit this morning. A parent wanted to go and they were whipping (their car) around trying to leave and they weren't paying attention," said Stevens.
An inattentive driver hit a crossing guard at Caesar Rodney High School in December. That employee is now back on the job.
Caesar Rodney High School Principal Elvina Knight had this message for drivers.
"Know the times and know that they will have to wait, and that we will have to stop them so we could ensure safety for our custodians directing traffic and for parents and buses coming in and out of our parking lots," said Knight.
Donaway just wants drivers to pay attention.
"You can get hit if they're not watching what they're doing," Donaway said.