TAKING ACTION: Speeding in Columbia HS school zone

Taking Action
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A concerned Columbia High School parent wants Huntsville drivers to slow down in the school zones.

Students going to and from school are put at risk every day when drivers go over the 35 mile per hour speed limit in the Research Park area.

WHNT News 19 took action to show you why this is a real problem.

Jessica Carlyon's son is a student at Columbia High School. He just won an ROTC award in honor of former student Hunter Cantrell.

"Once he won that award it got me thinking about the safety of the students. Hunter died coming home from school on this road," said Carlyon.

She has concerns about drivers speeding in the school zone on Farrow road.

"The speed limit is supposed to be 35 and no one ever goes 35. The school zone speed limit is 25, and people are just going way too fast," said Carlyon.

She thinks speed bumps, a crossing guard, or even more flashing lights would be helpful. Carlyon said an increased police presence might also slow down drivers.

"There is never a police car out here, ever. Maybe on the other side of the school where they have the crossing guards," she said.

But, Huntsville Police said it's not that easy. The roadway has to meet certain criteria before speed bumps, or anything else can be put in.

I went out to the scene with a radar gun to see how fast these cars are really going. But once they me monitoring them, cars would slow down to about 12 miles per hour, way below the speed limit.

However, I did catch some drivers going up to 51 miles per hour after school hours.

Huntsville City Schools has no jurisdiction over roadways, but they have their concerns too.

"Everyone who works in that area, who drives by that area, just please slow down. It's really not going to have any kind of significant impact on your travel time," said spokesperson Keith Ward.

"I am so scared that the same thing that happened to Hunter is going to happen to my son, or to any other child," said Carlyon.

The traffic sergeant with Huntsville Police said concerned parents wanting to install speed bumps need to contact the City of Huntsville traffic engineering department. You can find their contact information here.

Traffic engineering will have an application for people to fill out, but they will also need to conduct a survey of the area to see if it meets a certain criteria.

If you want to try to get a crossing guard in the area, you will need to petition the Huntsville Police Department. They will also need to first survey the area.

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