New bill could force state to fix crosswalks near Florida schools

Posted at 6:08 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 21:46:18-05

New legislation could soon force the state of Florida to fix its faded crosswalks with no signs or lights near school zones.


Even as the signal switches from stop to go, Emily Hinsdale is scared ot let her kids cross the street to school alone. Hinsdale says the crosswalk on Bay to Bay, leading to Roosevelt Elementary, with it's faded paint, is barely visible.

"You cannot see that crosswalk," she told ABC Action News. "Even the most responsible driver is going to struggle to see that crosswalk."

She says her kids and others across the state are vulnerable because of crosswalk issues.

Rep. Jackie Toledo has now introduced legislation that would require all crosswalks within one mile of a school to have high-visibility paint as well as signs and markings.

It's a stark contrast to many crosswalks surrounding schools you'll find around the state. ABC Action News visited just a few in Hillsborough County. All of them had missing or faded paint and some had broken spots in the road.

"We're number one in pedestrian fatalities in the country," Toledo said. "That is unacceptable. We need to start protecting our most vulnerable -- which is our students."

Toledo said these measures are what's needed to help protect pedestrians from drivers who are unable to see unmarked or faded crosswalks.

"It could be my child," Toledo said.  "It could be your child. It could be my neighbor's child."

The bill is currently making its way through the Florida House of Representatives. It needs to also go through the Florida Senate. If it passes both, it could be enacted in July.

If passed, the Florida Department of Transportation would have to come up with a uniform system of high-visibility markings and signage for designation of safe school crossing locations and install them.



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