Mom stands up to speeding drivers in school zone

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Esmeralda Balderrama is a mom on a mission.

"I'm just trying to slow down some drivers that are driving too fast through the school zone," said Balderrama.

Her youngest son, Miguel, attends Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Emersion Magnet school.  After a semester of car pooling, Balderrama says she sees too many cars ignoring the 20 mile per hour school zones.

"It just upsets me when they know they're speeding and do it deliberately," said the mother of two.

So, she took matters into her own hands.  For two weeks Balderrama has stood outside her son's school with her own sign that reads "School Zone" in neon colors, kindly reminding drivers to slow down.

"Just a lot of drivers out here speeding, not paying attention, not realizing there are children so close to them where in an instant something tragic could happen," said Balderrama.

"It's a great thing that she's doing. She's taking a step forward and trying to make a difference," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely of the Baton Rouge Police Department.

School zone signs are posted along the school's road, but police say drivers will sometimes miss them.  Unfortunately, with nearly 90 school zones around East Baton Rouge Parish, there is not enough man power to monitor every school every day.

"What we ask people to do is pay attention to the surrounding to know what's going on," said McKneely. "You have to know that there is a possibility that kids can cross the street at any moment."

McKneely says any resident or parent with concerns about speeding in a school zone should contact the Baton Rouge Police Traffic Division at 225-389-3874.

Balderrama says she did not contact the school district or police about the problem, and that she is acting on her own.

East Baton Rouge School Parish did not immediately return requests for a comment.

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