Police target school zone speeders after crossing guard is hit - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police target school zone speeders after crossing guard is hit

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PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

Speeding drivers in Pascagoula are being warned to slow down in school zones or get a ticket. Police said this word warning comes after a school crossing guard was hit and injured on the job Wednesday morning. Police said a lot of accidents can be avoided if people focus on road.

Just before 7 a.m. Thursday, Diane Jarrell was blowing her whistle on Ingalls Avenue to caution speeders as kids walk to Eastlawn Elementary school.  The crossing guard was filling in for her co-worker who was hit while helping parents and their children cross the street.

"It is disturbing. You think about every day, and then you hear on dispatch that one has been hit," Jarrell said.

Police said they believe the driver was not watching the road and kept rolling. Jarrell said too often she also sees distracted drivers in school zones. 

"I don't know if they are texting, but they are on their cell phones," Jarrell said about drivers. "Speeding. And I have seen them put on their makeup."

Police officers Chris Blythe and Scott Clayton were also out Wednesday enforcing speeding laws.  So far this year, they've issued more than 100 tickets to those putting kids and guards at risk.

"It always rush, rush," Clayton said. "They are in hurry and most of the time they are late; 90 percent of time they are late." 

"People don't like to get tickets, but here in Pascagoula, if you're caught speeding in a school zone, it is an enhanced penalty," Blythe said. 

To avoid paying hefty fines, police want more drivers to pay attention to the road and watch your speed in school zones. 

Diane Jarrell hopes drivers heed the warning to help keep children out of harm's way and crossing guards safe. 

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