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Roanoke works to curb speeding, raise awareness of pedestrian safety in school zones

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:18 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City officials report crashes in school zones have increased by 85% in the last five years.

Now, the city is working on new ways to keep kids safer in school zones by educating drivers.

It is all a part of the city’s ‘No Need to Speed’ safety initiative. The city has launched the 3rd phase of its DMV-funded pedestrian safety initiative, focused on keeping children safe in school zones by educating drivers (and future drivers) about safe driving priorities.

“Roanoke in particular has got to be a safe place for pedestrians-- for traffic. Everybody has got to feel safe in the neighborhoods and get between point A and point B. Walkability is a big deal to Roanoke. The more we can raise the awareness the better we will all be in there of a community,” said Dwayne D’Ardenne, Roanoke’s transportation division manager.

There’s also an interactive component to this year’s campaign – drivers can “test” their safety knowledge and share their scores on social media to encourage others. Plus, folks can see more decorated traffic signal boxes around the city,

D’Ardenne says this summer, a traffic garden will be on display for smaller children to practice the rules of the road and learn early.

The campaign will run through August and will feature road signage community events, educational neighborhood walks, contests and other community engagement tactics, as well as advertising. Officials hope the campaign elevates the profile of the risks of speeding and encourages positive action and long-term change.

A campaign website has been created at planroanoke.org/ped where the public can learn more about the campaign goals, and efforts to improve pedestrian safety, sign the pledge, and share it with others.

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