by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Union County parents protested a controversial redistricting plan by holding a "test drive" to local schools Tuesday.
Members of CAPS -- Citizens for Adequate Public Schools -- asked the parents of fourth- and seventh-graders and high schoolers who will be "grandfathered in" to their existing schools to drive to school on Tuesday instead of taking the bus.
CAPS members claim because the grandfather clause requires affected students to provide their own transportation, the added congestion to Union County roads will create traffic and safety hazards.
CAPS members further claim UCPS officials and Board of Education members failed to commission traffic or safety studies from NCDOT to investigate what risks, if any, the grandfather clause of the redistricting plan could cause.
"There's already an accident at least once a week on our roads, on the way to school," said Weddington High School senior Lars Knapp.
Channel 9 followed Knapp on his commute to WHS Tuesday morning, as part of the CAPs test drive protest. Knapp believes more traffic will be harmful to student drivers.
"More cars on the road means a higher probability of an accident. It's simple math," Knapp said.
State troopers told Eyewitness News they plan to monitor increased traffic in the fall.
"Traffic is somewhat terrible already. If people are having to get to schools on their own now versus taking the bus, it's going to be a concern of ours," said Trooper John Burgin.
Union County Board of Education Chairman Richard Yercheck did not have a comment on the CAPS driving protest.
Eyewitness News emailed UCPS spokesman Rob Jackson, as well as UCPS Safety & Security Director Jarrod McCraw, to ask if any safety or traffic studies were commissioned regarding grandfathered students.
Neither returned requests for comment.
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