Student hit in school zone prompts safety changes from City of Lincoln

10/11 NOW at 5
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - This past school year, Sage, a 5th grader at Saratoga Elementary School, was hit by a car driven by a 16-year-old who ran a red light.

Thankfully, she was not seriously hurt but her family said it still affects her and her brother who witnessed the incident.

“She was in a lot of pain, she was bruised and scraped up she had some marks on her eyebrow, her cheek; some of her eyebrows were gone even and her whole side was kind of road rashed up. Walking was really hard for the next few days,” said Jade Stanley, Sage’s mom.

Now, the City of Lincoln is making improvements to the Saratoga Elementary School zone in hopes of keeping kids safer.

It created a list of seven items to update or add to the area including shortening the crossing distance at the pedestrian walkway right in front of the school. They also plan to add more flashing lights to indicate a speed reduction zone. Also on the to-do list: reducing the speed during pick-up and drop-off times from 25 to 20 miles per hour.

“We find that whenever we can limit the amount of time students are in the street and are exposed to traffic that is a very good safety benefit,” said Melissa Ramos-Lammli, a Senior Traffic Technician with the project.

Sage’s accident was a catalyst of sorts, putting the project into motion. Many of the improvements don’t require extensive work so most will be finished by the start of classes this fall.

“Their concerns were focused on this pedestrian crossing on South 13th Street and we think that our improvement plan will address those concerns and make this a really much safer area for everyone,” Ramos-Lammli said.

For Sage’s mom, the changes are too late to help her daughter who’s starting middle school this upcoming school year. As for her son and others who still go to Saratoga, she wants to remind drivers to be alert.

“You know I’m glad we’re taking the safety measures but ultimately it’s up to the drivers to be able to stay focused and pay attention, especially in a school zone, especially during school times that we keep the roads safe and pay attention to our driving,” Stanley said.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the project, the city has it all laid out on its website.

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