IF spruces up crosswalks, signs near schools
Danger could be around the corner during the next couple of weeks as kids head back to school. The city of Idaho Falls is fixing crosswalks and signs to make sure motorists see students.
"In December of 2011, my stepdaughter Makayla was hit and killed by a vehicle passing a school bus that had its stop light activated," said Bonneville County Deputy Dan Sperry.
The importance of crosswalk and school bus safety hits close to his heart.
"I have a personal interest in making sure our kids are safe because I don't want any other parent to go through the nightmare that my wife and I have gone through," he said.
Sperry said he makes sure motorists near schools are following traffic laws while he is on duty. Director of Safe Schools for the Bonneville County School District also makes sure local kids stay safe.
"It's absolutely critical that crosswalks are identifiable and that parents and children can see where the crosswalks are," said John Pymm.
Pymm said he works closely with the city and county to tell them where we need crosswalks and which ones get fixed.
"They follow up after repaving, they put in the crosswalk, and they don't leave us hanging without a place for the kids to cross," he said.
The city of Idaho Falls has been fixing up many crosswalks and signs throughout town. They repaint them every year. City Engineer Kent Fugal said the city does more than just paint over faded lines.
"We are doing our crosswalks with thermal plastic pavement markings, which last a lot longer and doesn't fade out through the winter," Fugal said.
Thermal plastic pavement markings can last up to seven years. Since they can't hit every intersection they make sure to fix up the ones that need the most work.
"We are prioritizing those and hitting school locations as really our highest priority," he said. The technique is fairly expensive. Fugal said the city makes sure they have money saved in their budget.
Meanwhile, some local parents are working together to make sure kids are safe when they go to school. Each parent plans to walk a group of students to school every morning. If you would like to get involved you can call the Bonneville County School District at 525-4000.
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