Residents want drivers to stop

Cars ignoring stopped school buses and driving through stop signs are an ongoing problem in the Preserve at Chadds Ford development, according to residents.

Residents at the Preserve turned out in force Monday night for the Pocopson Township supervisors’ meeting to complain about traffic problems within the development that they say are endangering their children.

Shilpa Kapil said she has called the state police’s Avondale barracks on several occasions to complain about cars speeding through the development and “blatantly disregarding the stop signs and school buses.” The bus stop at Pratt Lane, a cul-de-sac in the development, was one place where residents had seen drivers disregarding traffic safety.

A digital speed sign is already in the development, said Mark Knightly, Pocopson’s public works director.

Supervisors encouraged the residents to address the issue with the homeowners’ association, as some drivers in question appeared to live in the development. They also encouraged the residents to share their concerns with the school district.

Commander Michelle Swantner of the state police’s Avondale barracks told residents they can call the state police’s non-emergency number – 610-268-2022 – to report vehicles they see passing stopped school buses or ignoring stop signs.

Passing a school bus that has red lights flashing and the stop arm extended is illegal in Pennsylvania and punishable with, among other things, a fine, driver’s license suspension, and five points on the driving record, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Ignoring a stop sign can mean a fine and three points on a driver’s record as well.

“We take very seriously the safety of kids,” Swantner said. “We don’t care if you call us 10 times a day.”

She told residents to get not only the license plate but the make, model and color of any vehicles they are reporting.

Township resident Linda DeHaven advised Preserve residents to write or photograph the license plates of any cars that disregard stopped school buses and report them to the Unionville-Chadds Ford transportation office.

“I was a bus driver, and I know what you’re talking about,” she said.

The supervisors will also discuss at a later date the possibility of installing temporary speed bumps to help slow down traffic in the development. The temporary speed bumps can only be used in warmer weather and not during the winter because of snow plows.

Other business

Supervisor Alice Balsama said she will not run for re-election when her term expires in December. The crowd thanked her for her work over the years and applauded her service to Pocopson.

Brad Piper, the township’s representative on the Kennett Library Board of Directors, asked to be put on the February agenda. He and fellow Pocopson representative Chris Larsen will give an update on the library.

The supervisors voted to authorize the township’s public works department to purchase an 11-foot plow and a dump truck body. The plow is $11,803, and the dump body is $28,450. The frame will also be sandblasted at a cost of $1,600. All three expenses are part of the township budget.

The supervisors voted to forward the constable contract renewal to the township solicitor. Balsama abstained from the vote, as her husband is the constable.


About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.



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