School District Works with Police to Increase Crosswalk Safety

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The Bentonville School District is working with police and city officials to increase safety measures after two students were hit while crossing the street during school hours.

"That's the most positive thing that's happened from two really bad situations is that people are talking about safety," Bentonville Schools Superintendent Michael Poore said.

Meagan Davis was hit by a school bus while crossing an intersection in Bentonville on Oct. 4. Geddon Kennedy was struck by an SUV on Oct. 18 while crossing Central Avenue away from a crosswalk. Both Bentonville students were airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.

Davis was in good condition last week, while Kennedy was listed in fair condition.

Since then police have beefed up patrols around the schools and the city is adding more time to crosswalk signals during heavy traffic, according to Poore.  

"There's a greater amount of time for them to get across the street cause we have a large number of kids that are going to be crossing," he said.

Scott Bennett with the Arkansas Highway Department said extra safety measures are already in place in school zones like the one on Central Avenue where one student was hit.

Neighbors who live near the busy road believe the school district working closely with police and city officials will make a difference.

"When you are younger, I don't think you think about stuff as much as far as safety and if there are means set up to be safer," said Kyle Hansen, who lives in the area.

Meanwhile Poore is hoping the community will do their part to help keep students safe.

"We have to slow down, just being courteous to other drivers, sometimes it's a positive proactive way to prevent an accident from happening further down the road," Poore said.

The district is also considering hiring crossing guards and increasing the number of school resource officers.