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Lawmakers consider extending school speed zones

SPRINGFIELD -- Some lawmakers hope to crack down on drivers speeding in school zones. 
SPRINGFIELD -- Some lawmakers hope to crack down on drivers speeding in school zones. A new proposal could change the rules to keep kids safer. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Right now, you only have to slow down in school zones on certain days, during special hours. This would broaden it to any time a child is near a school.

Tammy Banspach patrols these crosswalks daily. She sees firsthand just how dangerous the combination of kids and cars can be.

"A lot of people do not pay attention to the stop signs. They'll coast through. I've seen a little old lady drive right through it at the same speed. Didn't even notice the stop sign or anything else."

She says all of that happens right in front of her, during school days when drivers are supposed to be on high alert for kids.

"I hate to be brutally honest, but most people aren't paying attention to what they're doing."

In 2011, there were 54 school zone crashes around the state. Published reports show even more happen in school zones when class isn't in session like on weekends or during after school events. They're times when kids are around, but drivers don't have to slow down.

"It's very easy to hit the kids. I think they need a new system."

Some lawmakers agree. A new proposal means you'd have to slow down every time you see a child near a school. It's an idea parents support.

"It would make you stop and think about slowing down for children and pedestrians, period."

But, they say they have a hard time believing it will make the roads any safer for their kids.

"Not unless you have law enforcement or someone standing there. People aren't paying attention. They're answering their cellphones, they're messing with their texts. They're doing everything other than paying attention to the roads."

The measure already passed the House. Now it makes its way to the Senate.
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