GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Police: Drivers not paying attention in school zones

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Green Bay police say they are seeing more and more drivers not paying attention in school zones.

“Some days I’ll have a couple hundred cars going by, some days I’ll have 20 cars go by,” said Steven Sannes, a crossing guard in Green Bay.

Sannes starts and ends his day at the corner of 9th and Chantel streets. He says he sees a lot while keeping guard outside Kennedy Elementary School.

“There’s an awful lot of people not paying attention when they go by,” he told Local 5’s Barrett Tryon. “It’s our job to protect the children, but it’s hard to do when you have a lot of cars not obeying what you want them to do.”

It’s a troubling trend that police say is across the area.

“People are in a hurry to get where they gotta go. If they’re running late to work, whatever, or have to drop their own children off and they’re not so focused on what’s going on around them,” said officer Matt Knutson, who works in the Traffic Enforcement Unit with Green Bay police.

Police say one of the major problems is people being on their phones and driving.

“Just be mindful when you see those crossing guards or the children to slow down,” explained Knutson. “At 15 miles per hour, it’s easy to stop. When people are going the speed limit, or above the speed limit, it’s much more difficult (to stop) and more dangerous.”

Green Bay police used to run the crossing guard program. They sourced it out in 2020. While the guards themselves are not officers, they do work with police.

“Even if you aren’t the one necessarily driving, but your vehicle was used and failed to stop for a crossing guard, you can be cited for just being an owner because the person driving your vehicle was not being responsible,” Knutson added.

Guards say they just hope when you see them out and about you will be reminded kids are nearby.

“We just need the safety of the kids,” said Sannes. “That’s what we are here for and that’s what we wanna do.”

The crossing guard program is actively looking for people to help out for an hour a day in the morning and in the afternoon. You can see available jobs on their website. Just search ‘Green Bay.’

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