Traffic safety upgrades near school welcome steps

School zones are always a safety concern. Students getting on or off buses, or walking to or from schools, require precaution measures and best efforts to keep them safe.

Crossing guards, school bus stop arms and staff members monitoring dropoffs and pickups are a few of those measures.

Those are needed because motorized traffic in school zones presents risks. High schools raise additional concerns because new and less experienced drivers are behind the wheel.

That’s why we commend Hauser Jr.-Sr. High School officials for working with the Indiana Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit by the school from 45 to 35 mph, and to add reflective signage in the area to further alert motorists to multiple schools along State Road 9 in Hope (Hope Elementary is next door).

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Both additions are welcome and needed following a tragic accident in August. A vehicle carrying four students was struck by an oncoming truck. One of the students, Erin Newcomb, suffered a traumatic brain injury and broken bones.

Fortunately, no one died in the accident. But, the incident served as a reminder of the potential for tragedy.

Measures to increase the safety of students and reduce possible incidents with motorized traffic are good things, and helpful steps. And, the actions taken by Hauser officials are another example of something positive coming from a tragedy.

The 2012 senior project of then-East student Taylor Chitty focused on installing four flashing lighted signals at key pedestrian areas in the city, and was sparked by a 2011 incident when she was hit by a car trying to cross Marr Road. In the following few years, the city installed the flashing lights.

Ensuring student safety is paramount, and slower speeds and more visible signage are positive steps.