Loveland, Ohio - Adults who live near the crosswalk on Lebanon Road at the intersection of Acaro and Preakness Lane have been lobbying City Hall for years to improve pedestrian safety. Many have school children and are worried about a dangerous situation. They have been frustrated by inaction to their concerns. City administrators have looked at the problem, but respond that changes are deemed too expensive or will make matters worse. However, Loveland Middle School students, Autumn Binford and Molly Shilling have a new idea, they want to, “create a culture of pedestrian safety” not just at this intersection, but throughout the entire city.
The girls appeared at the November 20 council meeting to present their Girl Scout Silver Award Project - "To help Loveland by educating pedestrians and motorists about crosswalk safety."
Autumn she said she was recently nearly run over by a car that didn’t stop as she crossed Lebanon Road at the crosswalk. A school bus stopped for her, but a car darted into the intersection trapping her when other cars also ignored the crosswalk signs.
Autumn wants the public to learn what the law is, and once they do, she asks that the Loveland Police Department issue warnings to drivers violating the Loveland crosswalk law. She told council that only 11 citations have been issued for violations in the past ten years. “There were five violations in my crossing example,” she said.
Autumn cited the law, “It shall be the duty of the operator of any vehicle to yield the right of way to a pedestrian lawfully crossing the roadway within any crosswalk.” She continued, “The motorists simply don’t follow it.”
Bellevue Kentucky, which is helping Autumn with her program, has two people assigned to coordinate their pedestrian safety program. “I’d like someone with the City of Loveland to work with us on the pedestrian safety program,” she asked.
She would like banners displayed on utility poles in Loveland like the ones they have in Bellevue, and Autumn and Molly will conduct a student poster making contest.
“No one has been hurt yet in our Loveland crosswalks, but if we don’t do something soon, someone may.”