Laureldale police stop citing drivers in school zone; parents outraged

Posted: 7:30 PM EDT Sep 12, 2013   Updated: 10:19 AM EDT Sep 13, 2013

Some parents in Laureldale are outraged after hearing police are no longer enforcing the school speed limit on Kutztown Road.

According to borough officials, police were told to stop issuing traffic citations, which include both speeding and parking, throughout the borough.

Parents said the action poses a threat to their children's safety in school zones.

Lucy Shomo steps out into traffic everyday to help kids get to and from school safely, but her job as a crossing guard is getting more dangerous because police are no longer enforcing the 15 mph school zone speed limit.

"During school hours, it is terrible, really really bad. They do not want to stop because everybody is in a hurry to go home," said Shomo.

Parents said the intersection of Kutztown Road and Margaret Street has always been dangerous.

"See how she puts her finger out and she signals for the people to stop. They do not stop. They just fly right on by her like it is nothing," said Mary Plants, a student's grandmother.

On Sept. 2, borough officials said the borough council, by the order of the mayor, voted to have police stop issuing traffic citations in the borough until further notice.

Shomo said drivers are catching wind of this, and she almost got hit Thursday morning because they do not care.

"He said, 'I can speed. I can run stop signs. I can do anything and they are not going to stop me,'" said Shomo, quoting the driver.

Parents are outraged to hear the news.

"The kids are going to get killed. If they do not have to stop, where is the safety at? Why hire her to cross them then," said Plants.

"That is not good at all. It just gives them a reason to speed," said parent Alex Rodriguez.

Parents and crossing guards said they hope the borough will change its mind and begin issuing tickets.

Mayor Fred Feltenberger said police officers are only supposed to stop issuing parking citations until the department can get caught up with other business.

Police, however, told 69 News they were directed to stop issuing both parking and speeding tickets.