New Florida law designed to keep school crossing zones safe

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A push in Tallahassee to make school crossings safer will become law as of Saturday.

The law is called “Enhanced Safety for School Crossings.”

It essentially requires the Department of Transportation to maintain the same markings and signage for all school crossings throughout the state, but it comes too late for one Bay area family.

David Roundtree, a 72-year-old crossing guard, was hit and killed by a driver while he was on-duty back in November 2016. Roundtree was facing the other way, his daughter says, and never even saw the driver coming.

On Friday, Carrie Roundtree-Sanders showed us pictures of her father dating all the way back to when he was a teenager and recalled the countless memories of her relationship with her dad and how he was a “people person.”

“And most of all he enjoyed singing with the Gospel group,” she told News Channel 8 as she showed us videos of him as the lead vocalist in the Mighty Sons of Zion at the church he grew up going to in Georgia.

Roundtree sure did love to sing. It was a love that spilled over to his family and friends.

At 72 years old, he was living his life to its fullest.

“It didn’t take a lot to make him smile,” Roundtree-Sanders recalled. “It didn’t take a lot to make him happy.”

But then on that fateful day back in November on the corner of 9th Avenue North and 45th Street North, no one had any idea Roundtree would be hit and killed.

“He didn’t um, he didn’t make it and from that day to this day has been not good,” she said.

We showed Roundtree-Sanders the new law designed to keep school crossings safe.

We asked her if she believed there should be more in the law about crossing guards.

“Right. Exactly,” she said. “The crossing guards should be protected just as the children.”

Roundtree-Sanders calls it a good first step.

“I would have never, ever thought that he would have left so quickly,” she told News Channel 8.

She now hopes others will never have to endure the pain she’s been through, though it was her father’s love of singing that gets her through the tough times.

As for the driver who allegedly hit Roundtree, Charles Walton of St. Petersburg is locked up at the Pinellas County Jail facing one charge of DUI manslaughter and several other drug-related charges.

Walton will appear before a judge again on July 12.

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