Slow Down for Kids

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Quickly slowing from 55 to 20 miles an hour isn't fun and can even be frustrating for drivers, but it happens thousands of times a day around panhandle schools.

Tuesday afternoon just after school let out at Lucille Moore Elementary, a preschool van was broadsided when it pulled into traffic. While the accident is still under investigation, it raises concern about safety in school zones.

Julie Shurrum is a crossing guard at Lucille Moore and she says everyday is an accident waiting to happen.

"I literally have to get in the road to force people to stop, they're not paying attention."

Shurrum says impatient parents are always in a hurry to leave the school, forgetting the students walking across the street.

"Most of them are parents and they're actually are habitual offenders that do this just to tick you off."

Lt. Jimmy Nolan is the supervisor for crossing guards in Panama City. He says parents really need to be more careful.

“Another problem I've run into is parents not dropping their kids off in the designated areas. They'll just pull up to the curb, drop them off and the kids will run across the street."

On Panama City Beach, police officers take responsibility as a crossing guard at the local schools. Lt. Drew Whitman says speeding is the number one problem in school zones.

"Twenty miles per hour is slow, but people in a hurry think 30-35 is fine, but all it takes is a child to step off the curb, that car might not be able to stop."

According to a national survey by the Safe Kids Campaign, 65 percent of drivers in school zones are traveling over the speed limit. It also says a child's risk of being killed increases by about 80 percent with a car traveling at 40 miles per hour.

"Kids aren't paying attention, they're excited about going to school, excited about going home."

Excited about going home and safe enough to get home if drivers remember what's important about the school zone, keeping your child safe.