Crossing guards plea with drivers to slow down, pay attention

Crossing guards plea with drivers to slow down, pay attention

MADISON, Wis. - A popular Madison intersection is raising safety concerns with more and more drivers speeding past pedestrians and crossing guards. It's not a new problem for Monroe Street but it is one that is continuing to get worse.

Despite the city's best efforts, the intersection of Monroe Street and Edgewood Avenue continues to be a safety hazard for those crossing the street and the people there to protect them.

"They should drive through a school zone like their own children are crossing there," crossing guard Andria Caldecourt said.

Caldecourt has dodged more than one car that's plowed through the crosswalk. After many close encounters, the crossing guard said she doesn't know how to make drivers pay attention to the rules.

"People they will just drive right by me if I'm still in the middle of the street. They will see that I've crossed the student and then they will just go and it's like, 'I'm still standing here, hello!'" she said.

On average, she said she sees 15-20 drivers every day not wait for people to cross the street. Caldecourt keeps a notepad to write down license plate numbers to report those speeding or who fail to stop at the intersection.

"I don't think the public realizes how it feels to be in a road the size of Monroe Street and have a vehicle drive by you," she said. "It's very intimidating, it's frightening and we are trying to keep the kids safe."

It's such a big problem the city installed a crossing signal in August. The city also added Mark Evans as a second crossing guard for extra enforcement.

"It just takes a second of not paying attention, a delayed response time to brake or going too fast that it takes longer to slow your vehicle down that you can cause a serious accident to yourself or somebody else," Evans said.

Despite the cones, school zone signs and those new flashing lights some drivers are slow to brake or stop at all. Crossing guards have also had to get help from the Madison Police Department, which has issued several citations to drivers, according to Evans.

"These things should be obvious to people who are paying attention so we need to have people participate in keeping our community safe. Being a safe more careful driver is one of those things," he said.

By law, drivers are required to stop 10 feet before the crosswalk for pedestrians. If there is a crossing guard in the street, drivers must remain stopped until the guard reaches the sidewalk.

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