When principal Maria Peterson videotaped the busy Foothill Boulevard crossing near her school, it wasn't only cars speeding along the four-lane highway that she captured on tape.

Members of the Salt Lake Board of Education, who viewed her tape Tuesday night, could also hear her yell at a motorist to slow down.And that's the problem for students attending her school - Beacon Heights Elementary School - and others going to nearby Hillside Intermediate School. Cars coming off I-215 whiz down Foothill Boulevard, often going faster than the posted speed limit and failing to slow to 20 mph in the school zone.

"The kids are frightened. They often gather like little frightened animals when waiting to cross," Peterson said.

Until now, families living east of Foothill Boulevard have taken matters into their own hands, shuttling their children to school in car pools. There are 35 car pools to Beacon Heights alone.

But parents of the 110 children who must cross the hazardous highway are now asking the school district to bus their children to school.

"We believe it's time to take action before its too late. We don't want to find ourselves before you in the future, like parents living near California Avenue, mourning the death of one of our children," said parent spokesman Rick Kinnersley.

Earlier this year, an East High student was killed on California Avenue while on her way to school. Parents in that area had long complained about the hazardous route and were working with the city to provide increased safety for their children.

Kinnersley said Utah Department of Transportation statistics show 43,000 vehicles travel between 1700 South and 2100 South daily, and the number is rising 6 percent annually. The speed limit varies between 40 mph and 50 mph, except for the 20 mph in the 1,000-feet school zone. And, he added, running lights is the rule.

"It's tough to tell thousands of University (of Utah) students who are late for class that they're putting our children at risk," he said.

He told the board that the parents' requests for busing had been turned down once because the child living the farthest from school is 1.3 miles away. However, he appealed to the board to approve the busing under its hazardous route guidelines.

He said parents were told that if the district agreed to bus the students, it would cost the parents $261 per child annually.

District business administrator W. Gary Harmer explained that the state reimburses the school district only for children living 1.5 miles or more away from school. Parents whose children don't meet the distance requirement are asked to reimburse the district for the cost of busing.

The board asked its staff to investigate the situation and report at its April 3 meeting. "Obviously, tonight, we can't response off the top of our heads, but we're concerned," said board vice president Ronald Walker, who was chairman of the meeting.