MIRA MESA, Calif. - On Monday afternoon, as Krystle Gersztyn was walking her 6-year-old daughter near her elementary school in Mira Mesa, a car going through the crosswalk hit her daughter.
The car knocked the little girl down, causing minor injuries. Parents say the incident is just the latest in a series of close calls exposing a need for better safety measures, including adult crossing guards.
Dawn Powell, principal at Mason Elementary School, issued this statement:
The safety of our students is our highest priority, which is why we took the crucial step of notifying parents as soon as a traffic incident occurred near campus. That notification appears to be what prompted this request.
Our school protects student safety while crossing the street in several important ways:
- We assign school staff to help with student drop off and pick up
- We have requested a presence by school police on particularly heavy traffic days, and they do assist at those times.
- We also have student safety crossing guards, trained by the San Diego Unified Police Officers
The decision not to have crossing guards at a posted 4-way stop intersection was made after careful consultation with San Diego Unified school police and the San Diego Police Department and was designed to avoid confusing drivers who are, of course, obligated to follow all posted traffic instructions above conflicting directions from student guards.
None of the above actions excuse in any way careless driving that continues to be a real concern, and we strongly remind our community to please respect the law.
You could assist us is this effort by reminding parents of the following safety rules. Students should:
- Cross streets only in crosswalks; never enter streets from between parked cars or from behind shrubbery.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Walk—don't run—across intersections.
- A flashing "walk" signal does not mean it's safe to cross.
- Never let children under age 10 cross the street alone.
- Teach children to recognize and obey traffic signals and pavement markings.
- Be mindful when using electronics such as cell phones or MP3 players.
- Use the school's designated student drop-off and pick-up zone.
- Do not double park or make u-turns in front of the school.
- Children should enter and leave the car on its curb side.