FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno Unified school district plans to re-think safety at it’s schools, after numerous children have been hit by cars around its campuses.
That will be done as part of a new pilot program.
“We’ll basically go onto… Go around the campuses to basically assess the streets and all the crosswalks. And just to make sure that they are up to par of the safety of our students,” said Celeste Corona, Interim Communications Manager for Fresno Unified School District.
The news comes in light of multiple recent incidents where students have been struck by cars.
That includes Wednesday, when police say a teen they believe was driving under the influence, crashed into a crowd of students at a bus stop outside Roosevelt High School, hospitalizing eleven.
Thursday, a mother and her children were in a crosswalk near Birney Elementary when they were hit by a car. She and two of her kids were taken to the hospital.
And in October of 2022, Rashad Al-Hakim Jr. was hit by an alleged DUI driver as he crossed the street near Hoover High School. Al-Hamim would die in the hospital a week later.
Fresno Unified believes this new program will make a difference.
“We’re first starting off with 15 schools, I believe, that’s coming up in the next month. So, we are hoping to do that for the first 15 schools and then slowly start adding additional schools. So, I think that’s definitely going to help out with a lot of the safety concerns that we currently are having,” said Corona.
The district also wants drivers to play their part.
They ask motorists to slow down and pay attention to their surroundings.
Clovis Unified School District is not making any changes to its protocols or patrols, but repeated the same advice to drivers.
A sergeant with the school’s police department said pedestrians have a responsibility, too.
“They’ll walk or they’ll jaywalk. Which is obviously unsafe for them, and the drivers, and obviously along with their children as well. It’s not worth getting into an accident just to save two or three minutes,” said Sgt. Hector Becerra with Clovis Unified’s police department.
Fresno Unified’s pilot will start in the next month, but they ask parents keep up with PSAs for updates.