Defenders: School zone speeders caught on camera

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Sheiko Elementary School on Walled Lake Road is a typical elementary school in many ways, but some parents say what's going on outside Sheiko isn't normal. But it is  dangerous.

"People don't seem to understand that when the light is red they should stop, or when I'm standing in the intersection with the sign up that means they shouldn't go through it," said Tracy a crossing guard at the school.

She's been a crossing guard at Sheiko for more than a year. She said drivers simply ignore her.

"We have flashing lights down on each end telling people on each end to slow down," she said. "It's 25 during school crossing time. I don't know why people don't seem to understand that."

Tracy isn't the only one concerned. Many parents want the problem fixed but are afraid to speak out publicly because they don't want their kids teased in the process.

"I have been watching the cars go through here going 40-50 mph in the school zone," said one father. "I've talked to other parents, and I spoke with the West Bloomfield Police. "I spoke to the traffic officer here in West Bloomfield and I was told that they just have too many square miles to cover and not enough police in the area to cover it."

Recently, the Defenders went undercover on three different days during morning and afternoon rush to see how bad the situation really is.

Armed with a radar gun and hidden camera, we found driver after driver going 42, 43, sometimes 45 mph in this school zone where the speed limit is 25 mph and grade school kids are trying to cross the street.

We even caught one driver, in a silver minivan, going through a red light while waving at students are waiting to cross.

"This morning we had somebody stopped at the light waiting for me to cross the kids, I was in the intersection - and the person behind the car was honking at him to go," said Tracy. "I was in the intersection with the kids."

On a different day we find more of the same as speeders rush through this school zone and, sometimes, ran the red light.

Another time we watched an SUV stop in the intersection, forcing the crossing guard to walk the kids around the vehicle.

Only once in our three days of surveillance did we see a police car outside the school, so we took our findings to the West Bloomfield Police.

"We are dedicating more officers for the rest of the school year to be seen and encourage people," said Chief Mike Patton. "If tickets are necessary, then they are necessary."

Patton said he's taking the complaints seriously and parents said they have noticed a difference—drivers going slower and paying attention to the red light—in the past few days.

About the Author:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.