How has 'Drive Like Your Child Lives Here' been going?

By Stefanie

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - One year ago back in May of 2012, a crossing guard was badly injured after she was hit at the Sangaree Elementary intersection in Summerville.

Since then, another crossing guard was nearly hit in February at the same intersection of Royale Rd. and the Sangaree Parkway.

The Berkeley County School District responded in February with the 'Drive Like Your Child Lives Here' awareness campaign to try to combat some of the bad driving behavior by parents and community members.

"It's really helped raise awareness with our parents that every child, regardless if it is your own, or another child getting out of the car behind you, or ahead of you, or those that are walking or biking to school -- really need to be watched out for on the way to and from school," Amy Kovach, Director of Communications for the Berkeley County School District said.

Kovach said since the campaign started in February things have gotten better but that there is always room for improvement.

"We are still trying to push the message with our non-parents and non-school communities -- those drivers who don't have children in school at this time that drive past our schools. We are continuing to reach out to the community," Kovach said.

The school district hit the pavement hard getting the message out to parents through Facebook, letters and PTA meetings in order to raise awareness for the need of safe driving. Kovach says the response to the campaign from parents and faculty has been positive.

"It was intended to raise awareness and it has done that," she said.

Sangaree Elementary parent Christine Lakowsky agrees but said there are still some major challenges in the area during the morning commute.

"I think it's gotten a little better," Lakowsky said. "The parents seem to be more understanding of others. There are still the impatient parents that are honking and trying to force their way through."

"The traffic hasn't gotten too much better," she continued. "I've adjusted my route so now I go out of my way to go down Royale Road instead of Sangaree Parkway. It's still very dangerous to get across. You don't really know which direction traffic is going to come from because everyone has to shoot out at the exact same time."

Amy Kovach said that a school bus safety awareness focus will be added to the 'Drive Like Your Child Lives Here' campaign. The school district will be hitting the message home in the Fall with the new school year after witnessing drivers ignoring traffic laws in regards to school buses stopping to let kids off.