Parents frustrated with illegal U-turns at Sig Rogich Middle School

Loni Blandford

Parents frustrated with illegal U-turns at Sig Rogich Middle School

CREATED Feb. 11, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Drivers break the law all the time, whether it's speeding, running a red light or doing a U-turn where they shouldn't. But those in one Summerlin neighborhood say it's especially concerning when it happens in a school zone. They don't only want change -- they want to raise awareness of just how often it happens.

For every no U-turn sign in front of Sig Rogich Middle School in Summerlin our cameras caught car after car after car, you get the idea, doing the opposite. 

"I think when you tell people about it, it's one thing but when you actually see it, it's a different reality," explained Jim Bolla.

Jim is a volunteer crossing guard. He says the illegal U-turns have become the norm. His daughter is a sixth grader at Sig Rogich and Jim says he couldn't stand to watch kid's safety put at risk anymore.

"I think the biggest problem we have is just the lack of respect for the law," said Jim.

So for two days in November Jim set up a camera during his shift and videotaped the violations. He gave us two DVD's and you can see the kids get dropped off, the blinkers go on and the cars make a U-turns. We counted his footage and it shows more than two dozen cars making illegal U-turns.

"I don't believe that they're intentionally trying to jeopardize the other children's safety, I just don't think they realize it on a bigger scope," said Brandy Andrews, also a volunteer crossing guard at the school.

Principal Susan Harrison says about 1500 of the 1800 students who go to Sig Rogich don't get a bus and are often dropped off by their parents. That's why the school put in this designated drop off lane. Principal Harrison says she's tried to get the no U-turns message across to parents. 

"We do our part we send home newsletters, we talk about it at our PAC meetings. I think do something like this where the entire community is aware," said Principal Harrison.

Because the signs don't seem to help. We saw one SUV make a U-turns and another one follows suit. The driver in this Range Rover waits and waits with blinker on until she can make a U-turns.

"This is a very dangerous situation," said Jim.

We reached out to the City of Las Vegas and they say all those U-turns are prompting changes at Sig Rogich. After school lets out in June construction will begin on a center median island similar to one at Henry and Evelyn Bozarth Elementary School near Hualapai and Farm.  While the median will help reduce those illegal U-turns, they still might happen.

City officials say the median that will go in near Sig Rogich won't go all the way through here on Pavilion Center because they have to leave this intersection open for those living nearby. 

"I think it's a matter of parents focusing on their child and their situation kinda like wearing blinder," said Brandy.

Metro Police say they can't be everywhere to catch these lawbreakers. That minute or two drivers save by making an illegal U-turns could cost a hefty penny. Fines can double in school zones.

"If we just follow the traffic regulations that are in place, it's a safe environment," said Principal Harrison.

Jim hopes the next time our cameras are out there, it's not because of an accident,

"We just don't want anybody to get seriously hurt," said Jim.

It's all about changing driver's habits. That's why Jim, Brandy and Principal Harrison all felt so passionate about this story to raise awareness that all those U-turns are a safety risk.

Action News plans to keep in touch with Jim and go back out to Sig Rogich to see if the median island changes things there.

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