NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Speeding in school zones is a growing problem all across Nashville.
According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, 493 tickets have been issued for speeding in a school zone just this school year alone.
Every morning at West End Middle School, police officers pull over 10 to 15 drivers in the span of just one hour for speeding in an active school zone. Concerned parents say they've witnessed children almost get hit because drivers aren't paying attention to signs and crosswalks.
There is just one crossing guard assigned to the school, but since the school is so large, there is a whole side of the school that doesn't get assistance.
After complaints from parents, MNPD has sent out officers on motorcycles to curb the issue a few times a week.
However, parents say that's not enough.
"You can see they're pulling over people left and right, which means the problem itself isn't getting fixed," said Lucas Leverett, a community activist whose child attends West End Middle School.
Leverett has witnessed multiple reckless driving incidents since school has started back.
"We do all these other things and spend all kinds of money to keep our kids safe. It doesn't take a school shooting, it doesn't take a playground accident, it takes just one distracted driver, who didn't mean to, to cause a tragic accident in an area that's under-served," Leverett said.
Police officers who patrol the area say one of the biggest problem spots in town is the school zone on Bowling Avenue just off of West End Avenue. They think drivers would slow down sooner if the school zone was expanded a little further. They also say adding an extra crossing guard and signage reminding drivers to stay off their cellphones would help. However, all of those solutions would cost the city a lot of money.
Tennessee state law says that the maximum speed limit in a school zone is 15 mph. A ticket could result in a $200 fine and a mandatory court appearance. It's also illegal to be on a cellphone in an active school zone. Drivers must use a hands-free device or Bluetooth.