DC leaders call for stronger measures to make city streets safer

After a 9-year-old was hit by a car while leaving school in Southeast D.C. on Friday, two traffic cameras are now in place, but city leaders say more needs to be done to make the city’s streets safer.

D.C. Council member Christina Henderson said simply installing more traffic cameras is not the solution.

“There are absolutely no consequences for paying the tickets. Therefore, there is no desire on the part of a driver to slow down,” said Henderson.

She said legislation will be introduced later this week, calling for serious infrastructure changes around schools. Henderson added that the District needs to “refashion our roads in such a way that they are no longer highways and freeways around schools.”

There have been a lot of accidents involving pedestrians recently. As a result, the District Department of Transportation said it would install 19 new speed cameras to reduce speeding and reckless driving over the next three months.

One of the streets on the list was Wheeler Road SE, where the 9-year-old was hit by a car leaving KIPP DC Somerset College Preparatory. An adult was also hit by a vehicle Monday about a quarter-mile away from where the child was struck.

DDOT installed two traffic cameras in the area near both accidents on Tuesday to capture speedy drivers.

Salim Adofo, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Ward 8, said the child is no longer in a coma. He also added that counselors are working with students at KIPP DC, where the boy who was struck attended school.

Part of the solution going forward, Adofo said, has to be drivers paying more attention.

“People you know have just been able to do what they want for a long time, and now you know, that’s coming to an end,” Adofo said.

Henderson said some of the other changes that may be made around D.C. schools include raised crosswalks and rumble strips, while D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently said she would increase police presence around area schools.

Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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