A local university places safety awareness signs at crosswalks

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Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Justin Jones

MURRAY, Ky—A cheap solution to a big problem, but is it working?  The city of Murray conducted a study that shows 97 percent of people who are crossing 16th street use a crosswalk, but 47 percent of people using the crosswalk never look before crossing the street.

After several incidents, Murray State University and the city of Murray decided to increase safety precautions and invest in awareness signs.

However, Murray State Junior Katie Schmitt said she does not rely on road signs.

"I have to look both ways, but I make sure the cars are stopping. A lot of times, cars are nice and stop, but some of them aren't so I don't trust the signs," said Schmitt.

Murray Mayor Bill Wells said the metallic yellow awareness signs will hopefully help make it safer for the community.

"With 7 or 8 thousand cars going through that, we have a traffic problem. Kids are walking out there not paying a lot of attention and we have some drivers that aren't paying a lot of attention," said Mayor Wells.

Mayor Wells said one student was hit earlier this year and police report several car crashes at these crosswalks.  So, the city of Murray spent $3,500 on eight of these signs to prevent any future problems.

"You got to pretend like it's your son or daughter that might be out in that crosswalk. If you think about it that way, maybe you'll pay more attention," said Mayor Wells.

Schmitt said she is thankful for these signs, but everyone needs to be responsible.

"The walkers have to be aware, you can't just dart across the street. You got to look before you walk when you're crossing the street and I think cars just make sure you're going slow and watching," said Schmitt.

The city of Murray has to wait six months to see how effective the street signs are and to see if they are making a difference in the number of incidents.  Mayor Wells said if these awareness signs work, the city will stick with it.  If the signs are not effective after six months, Murray State University and the city of Murray will consider other options like re-routing traffic.

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