Are Lee County schools turning into car crash sites?

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 5:45 PM -04:00 Updated:

The end of the day at Riverdale High School on Buckingham Rd isn't only marked by the bell but also by the sound of revving engines and burning tires.

"They're flying out of here," Darlene Holden said while waiting to pick up her grandson.

"Most of the kids come drifting out of the school," Junior Ryan Jenkins said.

Jenkins' mom picks him up down the road so they can avoid the traffic.

"They do burnouts in the parking lot and stuff, and it's just not safe," Jenkins said.

We wanted to see if what the parents and students see is backed up by the numbers.

We asked local law enforcement for the number of traffic incidents outside Lee County high schools.

 

The 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd. address had the third most crashes, which is right outside Cape Coral High School.

The crash reports show the vast majority are from regular traffic and not related to teenagers.

That's part of the reason Cape Coral police are concerned with parents dropping off students on the side of the road.

"You might have impatient drivers that decide to go around you and strike a child," Cpl. Phil Mullen said.

Police made 15 stops there last school year.

Some of them were to warn parents.

"We absolutely can enforce stopping in the middle of a 45 mile an hour road for no other reason. You just can't do that," Mullen said.

Plantation Road outside South Fort Myers High School had the second most crashes last school year with 17.

Ten were found to be caused by teens.

In the morning, our cameras captured video of cars making illegal U-turns and drivers getting impatient and driving in the wrong lane to avoid the traffic jam.

But Riverdale High School far and away had the most crashes with 27.

Eighteen were caused by teens, and two were caused by parents.

Other crash reports did not have enough information to determine who was involved or at fault.

Some of the crashes were in the parking lot, but many also happened as teenagers sped out of school without checking for oncoming traffic or whether the cars in front of them had stopped.

"I've heard of car crashes out here that a lot of kids come out of the school going too fast, run a red light and such, hitting another car," Jenkins said.

In a statement, the Lee County School District said, "The safety of our students is of the highest priority. Teachers and administrators take every opportunity to educate them on making good decisions to ensure their safety, and the safety of others."

"Some people are just driving stupid, and people get hurt. That's what happens," Riverdale student Evan Worthington said.

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