BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - After viewers wrote in asking why there are no school zone signs in front of College Park Middle School, traffic reporter Abbey O’Brien, got answers.
The middle school sits right off College Park Road, a five-lane road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour.
“The people need to be aware that there are schools in this area and they need to slow down," Janet Rein said.
Rein has lived near College Park Middle School for 40 years and her son went to Berkeley County schools. She reached out via our “What’s Driving You Crazy” form to express her frustration.
“I reached out to you because the volume of traffic in this area and the concern about the school children crossing the road, getting to school, and there’s no school speed zone anywhere on College Park Road," she added.
There are yellow cross walk signs on side streets near the school but you cannot see them from the road.
“It’s dangerous, it’s scary and it’s frustrating,” said Rein.
When Live 5 asked the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) why there are no school zone signs, a spokesperson said they are not required to put them on College Park Road because the driveway to the school technically comes off Trinity Place. However, the address to the school is 713 College Park Road, Ladson, South Carolina and dozens of students have to cross the busy road to get to school.
SCDOT says the school district must request for the signs to be placed on College Park Road. When Live 5 asked the school district about the issue, spokeswoman Katie Tanner said, “Signage requests are typically made through our safety and security department."
A few days later, Tanner said, “Our Safety and Security Coordinator has been in contact with DOT regarding different needs of schools this year. He has asked if an assessment has ever been completed for College Park Middle and if they have received a request for signage in the past...after he hears back regarding any past assessments or results of past requests, I will let you know.”
Rein said she has written letters to the school district, SCDOT and the school itself because she knows of two kids who have been hit crossing the road. Statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety show there have been seven pedestrian-related traffic accidents in the area since 2001, though numbers of 2018 and 2019 are preliminary. Five of those crashes resulted in injuries and one resulted in a death.
Live 5 will continue to follow up with the school district to see if they have any interest in putting up school zone signs.