The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


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Street Safety

Katharine Japes posing with a stop sign on a police motorcycle. Photo courtesy of Katharine Japes’s GoFundMe page

Earlier this month, crossing guard Katharine Japes was hit by a car on the morning of February 13th near Eastbluff Elementary, while protecting children crossing the street to school. She sustained multiple injuries including a broken pelvis, hip, shoulder, elbow, bruised lung, and concussion, leading to her hospitalization in the ICU. She is currently making smooth progress in her recovery.  On Eastbluff Elementary’s Instagram post, Japes’s son shared that, “The next step in her recovery is regaining mobility with the goal of being transferred to a rehab facility and learning to walk again. So far the progress has been slow because of the pain, but nonetheless she is making progress everyday and keeping a positive attitude.”

CdM’s crossing guard Mike Burnside notes that, “to prevent accidents like this from happening, there are many things both pedestrians and drivers alike can do.” Burnside emphasizes the importance of not speeding in the school zone during school hours and not speeding in general. The driver who hit Japes was driving below the speed limit at twenty miles per hour in a twenty-five miles per hour zone, so if the car was going any faster than that, then Japes would likely be injured more severely than she was. Burnside reports that, “[he sees] several cars every day that go much faster than twenty-five, and [he gets] worried about the kids that walk in front of [him] when [they are] crossing.” Burnside urges pedestrians to always look both ways, pay attention to traffic, and use extreme caution when crossing the street, even in school zones when there’s a crossing guard present.

The recent incident involving Japes has helped spotlight street safety and spread awareness, including among student drivers. CdM junior and student driver Mateja Lewis stresses the importance of paying attention when driving. For Lewis, “driving is a privilege” and she is cautious when she gets behind the wheel. For example, she always makes sure that she is in her lane and watches out for other drivers. CdM Freshman Sarah Tucker is looking forward to getting her driving permit next month when she turns 15 ½, and for her, learning how to drive has been a very fun experience. According to Tucker, some cautionary tips she has learned from her driving lessons include: “obey the rules of the road” and “do not drink and drive, do not do drugs and drive, and, of course, do not speed.”

Street safety applies to both drivers and pedestrians. While crossing guards play a key role in keeping students and pedestrians safe from vehicles while crossing a road, accidents like the recent one at Eastbluff Elementary can still occur. A GoFundMe has been organized to help support Japes (, which has now raised over $15,000 dollars, more than two times its original goal of $6,000 dollars.

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