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Drivers concerned about students jaywalking at Santa Maria High - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Drivers concerned about students jaywalking at Santa Maria High School

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Some drivers say Santa Maria High School students who jaywalk across Stowell Road before and after school are becoming a problem. 

The crosswalk at Stowell Road and Entrada Way was equipped with a pedestrian warning beacon back in September, but many high school students don’t use it.

“They don’t take a common sense approach to their safety. It seems like the kids are just nonchalant walking in front of the cars, which is a danger,” said William Smith, Santa Maria resident.

“I don’t see it logical since there is a way to cross the street over here and there is like a street light over there,” said student Diego Martinez.

Driver Gabriela Damian says she sees kids cross illegally every single day and must always be on alert, ready to stop.

“I was coming to pick them up, and before turning the corner to enter the roundabout, I had to do a brake check because all the kids just started crossing,” Damian explained.

Smith says there needs to be more enforcement in school zones.

“It’s just an accident waiting to happen and no parent wants to have to deal with that,” he said.

Santa Maria Police Sergeant Duane Schneider says if students are caught jaywalking, they will be held accountable.

“I would encourage every student to use the crosswalks," Schneider said. "By not doing so, and if the police see you and give you a citation for it, it can be up to $200. It’s also dangerous if you don’t use crosswalks. A vehicle may hit you and obviously, they are larger than you are and you are going to be at the short end of that.”

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District says every student was talked to about traffic safety at the beginning of the school year during orientation.

The fine for jaywalking in Santa Maria is a minimum of $197. For vehicles not yielding to pedestrians inside a crosswalk, the fine can be up to $240.

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