Round Lake students hit by cars, but drivers not faulted

 
 
Updated 9/1/2016 6:08 PM
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  • John T. Magee Middle School is at the signalized intersection of Cedar Lake and Hart roads in Round Lake. Police say three students hit by cars since the start of the school year has prompted an extra watch near at two Cedar Lake intersections.

      John T. Magee Middle School is at the signalized intersection of Cedar Lake and Hart roads in Round Lake. Police say three students hit by cars since the start of the school year has prompted an extra watch near at two Cedar Lake intersections. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

Round Lake Police say a traffic safety enforcement crackdown has started after three students were struck by vehicles on separate days since school started last week.

The students were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for precautionary reasons after accidents Aug. 22, 26 and Tuesday, officials said. None was seriously injured and no drivers were ticketed or considered at fault.

Police Chief Michael Gillette said police are monitoring pedestrians and drivers at or near the signalized crossings where Cedar Lake Road intersects with Washington Street and Hart Road to the south near John T. Magee Middle School. Enforcement around the two intersections was stepped up Wednesday, he said, and officers plan to issue vehicular and pedestrian citations when appropriate.

Police have issued at least nine tickets for failure to use crosswalk to students so far, Gillette said. One Round Lake High School student received two citations after being caught running into traffic as he crossed mid-block in the morning and after school in the same area, he added.

"In the three accidents we have experienced, all involved the pedestrians darting across multiple lanes into the paths of moving vehicles," Gillette said. "Two were at mid-block. One was at a crosswalk against the traffic signal."

Police reports show:

• Officers were called to Cedar Lake and Washington at 7:06 a.m. Aug. 22 after a bicycle proceeding through a crosswalk collided with the driver's-side door of a 2005 Mini Cooper. Police said the driver had a green light heading south on Cedar Lake. Round Lake Area Unit District 116 spokeswoman Heather Bennett said the Magee student was heading to the first day of school.

• At 4:11 p.m. Aug. 26, police were summoned to Cedar Lake and Hart. Reports show a boy ran in front of a 2016 Mazda driving from Cedar Lake to westbound Hart. Bennett said the boy was running for cross-country practice. Police said he suffered arm and leg injuries, with moderate damage to the car's driver's-side headlamp and bumper.

• Police were sent about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday to Cedar Lake Road just north of Washington Street after a high school student ran west across four lanes of traffic and was hit by a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. The high school is west of where the collision occurred.

School officials met with Round Lake and Round Lake Beach police Thursday and reviewed the accidents and what's being done to prevent them, Bennett said.

All District 116 students were reminded this week about safely traveling to and from school. It was addressed in assemblies and announcements by teachers, but parents also are asked to discuss it with their children, Bennett said.

"The district will continue to monitor this situation and are considering options for monitoring trouble spots along Cedar Lake Road," she said. "We will also be reaching out to Lake County to see if there is a possibility of placing pedestrian walkways and/or additional signage along Cedar Lake Road."

Gillette said drivers need to obey school zone speed limits, stay off mobile devices and be aware of students walking in the Cedar Lake Road corridor.

He also said he'd ask students not to walk and text, to cross only at intersections in crosswalks where available, follow crosswalks and traffic signals, do not cross mid-block and do not dart into traffic.

Fines of $25 to $75 can be levied against someone found guilty of jaywalking in Round Lake, Gillette said.

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