City of Carrollton GA responsible for death of 8 Year Old Boy?
Fresh from a few UWG grad students that were on the square tonight…
We approached the square tonight to a symphony of police and fire lights. News vans where present with their satellite antennas reaching for the sky. Reporters were talking into the cameras. Police were walking inside of a taped-in area with their gloves on snapping photos. A red pickup truck with a huge grill, known as a bull bar, parked in the middle of the scene. Everyone gathered was noticeably shaken up. You could see the pain in the eyes of all the mothers who were on the scene, realizing that some other mother was experiencing their worst fear come true. Totally shaken, emotional, deeply pained. Empathetic, concern, fear, disbelief, and distraught.
In attempts to gather the proper name for such a front guard for the pickup truck so that we could call it by the proper name for this post we did a quick Internet search for it, and the first website we saw advertised it as such:
“Menacing and provocative, a custom-fit bull bar fixed to the front-end of your vehicle makes a statement that says ‘get out of my way, now.’”
This evening an 8 year old boy was killed in an accident at the East crosswalk of Adamson Square in Carrollton, GA. He was hit by the truck. Several our grad students were in the square at the time of the accident, and we know of at least one person who witnessed the accident.
Our hearts go out to the family of the victim and to all who knew and loved him. And, our heart goes out the driver of that truck that will have to live with the burden of the situation. We have no indications that the driver was at fault. Our informant shared that the child darted out against his parent’s wishes, although this has not been confirmed.
As a community we have a serious issue with how the government is managing our town. Serious accidents are a regular happening in Adamson Square. This is largely due to the following conditions:
- There are minimal safety features in place.
- It is one of only a few places in town that has pedestrian traffic, so drivers are not used to it.
- It is a tight area with lots of foot traffic and is simultaneously a through street- a major road that sees a large amount of traffic.
Many of us have seen cars and especially pick-up trucks drive through red lights at this very crossing and drive too quickly when given the green. It has been a dangerous place for a long time and there has been no significant safety measures established. Another dangerous place that many of our department’s students encounter is the crossing of Maple Street at the beginning of Front Campus Drive. This is a pedestrian entrance to the university and all it has is a simple crosswalk and yellow yield sign. From our experiences Carrollton drivers tend to not yield to pedestrians at this walk unless the pedestrian is physically on the street. And, by then it is often too late if someone is distracted. Rare is the driver who will stop to let pedestrians cross. Finally, it is worth mentioning the crosswalks between the new campus bookstore and the TLC building, which separates a large student parking lot from the campus. All of these locations are dangerous.
There are safety measures that can implemented to save lives. One such safety measure we borrow from the City of Boulder Colorado. Their crosswalks all have buttons, and when one pushes the button the lights flash yellow as does the very crosswalk itself. It is a visual display that is capable of saving lives. Just as the police use lights to keep themselves safe when they pull cars over, here the pedestrian is given the power to use lights to protect their fragile bodies as they cross roads that contain heavy objects moving at high speeds.
Why does the Carrollton government not implement these measures to save our lives? Are we not worth the expense? Why do they have tons of money to spend on the drug war but nothing to protect pedestrians?
And, why do they focus more on seatbelt laws (which only hurt the one violating the law) than traffic safety such as enforcing pedestrian crosswalk yielding?
There is too much unconscious driving in Carrollton to keep the status quo. There are too many drunk drivers, especially college age ones, driving on our streets late night. It is time to put up safe crosswalks and to make sure that violators of them receive stiff penalties.
When an intersection is notoriously dangerous and the government doesn’t do more to protect the pedestrians the blood is on their hands.
How much is a life worth? Would it be worth the cost of investing in blinking safety signs and flashing crosswalks, along with the enforcement necessary to make them effective?
It just isn’t fair to the pedestrians and to the drivers to allow someone to cross these busy streets without the protection of clear notification signals. We drive with our habitual minds as much as our conscious minds. We have a host of distractions including our entertainment systems, GPS devices, and texting and talking on our phones. We drive with the urgency of the modern life where we no longer have enough hours in his day to complete all that we wish to do. We are inviting trouble as drivers, and we need all the support to notice the few pedestrians who cross our streets. Otherwise, eight year old boys lose their lives.
A couple sources of pedestrian life-saving technologies include:
Traffic Safety Corp
Tapco shares “More than 76,000 Americans have been killed walking or crossing the street in the past 15 years. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, pedestrians account for nearly 12% of all traffic fatalities. Many crosswalks are poorly lit or pose other visibility challenges. Speeding, distracted and intoxicated drivers only worsen the problem.”