New flashing lights for Pasco crosswalks

PASCO - Action News your child's safety is important to you. KEPR has learned the Pasco School District is making big changes when it comes to just that. They're partnering with the city to add state-of-the-art flashing lights along school crosswalks which the district has deemed hot-spots.

It's part of your child's regular routine. Crossing these busy streets to get to school. You just hope it's done safely.

"Why can you not respect this real life that's in front of you?" asked school bus driver 'Jamie.'

'Jamie' didn't want to show her face. She's also a local bus driver. "Jamie' says she sees too many close calls.

"Every afternoon, every morning, every mid-day," said 'Jamie.'

She believes driver behavior won't change -- until the speed limit does.

"They should be monitored more. The speed limit should be lowered. 20 is too fast," added 'Jamie.'

It's why Pasco is looking to make improvements. Planning to install these 'rectangular rapid flashing beacons.' The first of its kind in the city. Officials say the boxed LED lights are more visible to drivers.

The city plans to shell out grant money to fund the project. Saying it won't just benefit school kids, but also pedestrians.

Almost $130,000 to upgrade seven hot-spots. They can be used with the push of a button. But officials are still determining details. Not knowing for sure if it'll be automated to flash during school hours.

"The enhancements that are being provided are going to enhance the safety for the students and their access to school - of course, that's what we're about kids getting to school safely," said Pasco Director of Support Services Randy Nunamaker.

Seven thousand kids ride the bus to school. But three thousand walk. And the district hopes more students will do the same.

"Hopefully students will feel safer riding their bikes and walking to school, getting that additional exercise," said Nunamaker.

All in an effort to protect what's most important. The project is expected to be completed by early December.