Why aren't there school zone signs around West Career &Technical Academy
School zone signs and reduced speed limits help make our streets safer for kids when they go to and from school but one Valley school doesn't have any. Parents say it's putting lives at risk.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - School zone signs and reduced speed limits help make our streets safer for kids when they go to and from school but one Valley school doesn't have any. Parents say it's putting lives at risk. So why aren't any being put up?
"Somebody is going to get hurt," explained Shirlene Utterback.
It's one of the Valley's newer schools but when West Career and Technical Academy opened about three years ago, mom Shirlene Utterback says they forgot something.
"I was driving up and I was like no school zone umm," wondered Shirlene.
The academy is on the corner of Charleston and Desert Foothills but unless you spot the school's name on the building you might not realize there's a school nearby.
"How are we supposed to keep our community safe and our children safe if we can't put up signs for our kids," said Sakinah Stokes.
Even the school's principal echoes parents' concerns.
"We're finding that we really do feel it's necessary," said Monte Bay, Principal of West Career and Technical Academy.
Students who go the school go through an application process meaning many of them don't live within walking distance. The school's principal says they only have about 50 walkers but with more than 1000 who take the bus and a few hundred more driving, all those numbers do add up to a lot of traffic.
"We have but 14 busses trying to get in here," said Monte Bay.
The speed limit on Charleston is 45 miles an hour on Desert Foothills it's 35 but some say that change catches drivers off guard.
"They don't know kids are coming out and they're still going 45 to 50 and the kids are jetting across the street," said Sakinah.
We took our radar gun out there and clocked one driver going 44 in a 35, exactly the reason why parents say signs are needed.
"I don't want to go to any kid's funerals," said Shirlene.
School officials have tried to get signs put up by contacting the state who oversees Charleston.
"Basically was told that the studies indicated based on the kind of school it was it wouldn't be necessary," explained Principal Bay.
So we decided to call the Nevada Department of Transportation. They say a traffic engineer came out in April and May on different says and before and after school. The engineer found almost no pedestrian activity in the morning and in the afternoon. It was just kids going to a nearby shopping plaza. So the school's request for a 15 mile per hour school zone on Charleston was denied.
But what about the county, who maintains Desert Foothills?
"I sent them an email and didn't get any response from them," said Shirlene.
So we called the County and they tell us engineers have been out to the school. But because the school is fenced in, there are few walkers and there's a traffic signal nearby with a crosswalk, signs weren't put up. The County says they are still looking into it. Principal Bay says the district isn't giving up. They're now getting risk management involved.
"They sent out a district safety person to come out and observe and they're making contact with the entities for us on behalf of the school district," said Principal Bay.
In the meantime, Shirlene hopes drivers will just slow down.
"The longer it takes to get the signs up the more chances we have of somebody getting hurt," said Shirlene.
We're going to keep in touch with the county and see if anything comes out of their investigation. we want to thank Shirlene for emailing us. We depend on you to tell us about safety issues in your neighborhood, so send an email to email@example.com and be sure to include your phone number.