Safe Kids Clark County News Articles
Written on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Kids Walking Safely at Tarkanian Middle School
Things were bad at Tarkanian Middle School. Cars were making u-turns in the middle of the school zone, narrowly missing the kids crossing the street midblock. Vehicles were missing kids by mere inches—tragedy was waiting to happen. School nurse, Megan Ryan, called Safe Kids Clark County in to help. A survey before school one day showed 253 u-turns and 107 kids crossing midblock. After school, midblock crossing was even higher because parents park across the street to wait for school to end; the middle schoolers would stream out and cross the street to their waiting ride.
Every semester, Safe Kids teams up with local nursing programs for semester projects. A group of clever nursing students from Roseman University assessed the situation and came up with a plan to stop u-turns and educate the kids on the safest way to cross the street. The nursing students set up traffic cones in the middle of the street in the school zone, stopping parents from making those unsafe u-turns. Because the parcel of land across the street from the school is undeveloped, crosswalks cannot be painted onto the roadway. The nursing students also used cones across the road, creating temporary crosswalks. They made and distributed a flyer to waiting parents explaining the changes and created a middle school-friendly pedestrian safety video featuring Tarkanian students that was shown via the school’s video system to students. Tarkanian’s principal, Darren Sweikert, sent an automated phone message to parents as well, informing them of the new safety changes.
As a result, u-turns were reduced to 0 in the school zone and students began using the makeshift crosswalks to safely cross the road. Drop-off and pick-up times are now calm and efficient. Most importantly, kids are walking safely now. All for around $600 in supplies and a little ingenuity.