Police concerned about students tangling with traffic on busy highway

6:54 PM, Sep 6, 2012   |    comments
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SNELLVILLE, Ga -- Police in Snellville say every day, dozens of high school students are taking potentially deadly risks, all for the sake of getting a bite to eat.

For the past couple of weeks, officers have been posted up at intersections around South Gwinnett High School, watching as students dash into traffic to cross Highway 78 and Wisteria Drive.

"There are police on every corner and they're still doing it," said one officer.

Motorists have emailed and called Snellville police with concerns that someone is going to be injured or killed.

11Alive reporter Jerry Carnes watched on Thursday afternoon as several students, with police watching, dodged traffic while crossing Wisteria Drive on their way to a nearby Burger King. They hop scotched around the cars instead of crossing at a nearby traffic light.

"I've seen them walk into traffic in groups," said Reggie Russ, who works for Burger King. "I've seen them on cell phones not paying a bit of attention to the cars coming at them. It's gotten pretty bad."

Police say they've seen students jaywalk across busy Highway 78, but the bigger problem is the teenagers who bypass the traffic light where it's safe to cross Wisteria Drive and instead try to negotiate their way to the Burger King through moving cars.

"Sometimes we issue citations for jaywalking if it's a close call," said Captain Greg Perry. "Most of the time we try to talk to the kids."

The problem has gotten so bad police have contacted administrators at South Gwinnett High. Announcements have gone out to students warning them about the risks they're taking.

So far, it hasn't put an end to the problem.

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