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City of Conway emphasize safety at crosswalks after UCA student was struck by a car



Conway, Arkansas – Conway wants to raise awareness of the need of using crosswalks. A University of Central Arkansas student was hit by a car earlier this week as she crossed the street in a crosswalk. Charles Finkenbinder, the city’s attorney, took notice of that episode.

According to Finkenbinder, the city of Conway has worked hard to promote safety by installing flashing lights at crosswalks. He claimed that in order to slow down traffic, Conway mayor Bart Castleberry saw to it that rumble strips were put in place close to elementary schools. According to Finkenbinder, this strategy maintains the use of traffic-calming strategies like tiny roundabouts, which are all intended to slow down traffic. According to Finkenbinder, the lights were added within the last two years.

“When you see that crosswalk when you start approaching it, don’t look at it as a possible delay or hinderance to your day,” Finkenbinder said. “Look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate that you value the safety of other people, especially people you don’t know.”

The Conway Police Department responded to the incident on Monday night. The male UCA student, age 21, was struck by a female driver, age 36, who was heading northbound on Donaghey Ave. The driver claimed she did not notice the crosswalk’s flashing lights, which signal that a pedestrian is about to cross the road. The driver claimed that she immediately came to a stop when she noticed the pedestrian and that the power of the stop caused her car to collide with the pedestrian. The male student was not hurt, according to the report, and he declined to be treated there.

Freshman at UCA Gavin Muse claims to cross the street at the Donaghey Avenue crossing four or five times per week. The majority of the time, he claimed, it is safe to stroll, but he has had close calls.

“There was this one time this motor bike, he didn’t see me coming he just drove, he drove right by. He almost hit me and it kind of scared me,” Muse said.

Muse added that after learning that a student had been struck by a car, he would be more cautious.

“I’m definitely gonna hit the button and wait for the car to stop before I walk across,” he said. “It makes me feel a lot safer knowing that they have to stop before I walk across the street.”

According to Sergeant Michael Hopper of the UCA campus police, they helped the student government with the Brake for Bears initiative. He claimed that it taught students how to correctly employ the flashing lights.

“To make sure that pedestrians understand that those lights are not a force field,” Hopper said. “You press the button to activate those lights, make sure that the traffic is stopping for you and know that you’re not just walking right out in front of the traffic.”

Since volunteering as a crossing guard at Julia Lee Moore Elementary School for the past four years, Finkenbinder claims he has gained a lot of knowledge about crosswalks.

“Now they all use the crosswalk to cross road, as far as the motorists more often than not now, where as before it seemed to be a cross walk that was ignored by motorists,” he said. “More often that not now the motorists are stopping before I can even push the button to activate the lights, which tells me they’re looking for the children.”

According to Finkenbinder, it is against the law in Arkansas to fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

“It’s punishable like any other traffic offense. It’s taken very seriously in Conway, if an officer writes a citation for that, you can expect to be in court,” he said.

When approaching crosswalks, drivers need to slow down, according to Finkenbinder. Additionally, he advised people to check all directions before crossing the roadway.



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