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Community calls for increased crosswalk safety after teen hit, killed in Provo

Posted at 8:03 PM, Mar 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 22:04:08-04

PROVO, Utah – A neighborhood is demanding change to increase crosswalk safety after a 15-year-old boy was hit and killed.

Caleb Lane was hit on Friday, March 16, around 2:00 p.m. when he crossed toward the Provo Rec Center over 500 North on 400 West.

Provo Police said a truck was stopped in a place that blocked the teen's view of an oncoming vehicle, and that the driver of that vehicle could not see Caleb for the same reason.

“When we found out that it was my son's good friend, it was very hard,” said mother Shannon Bingham, as she held back tears thinking about young Lane. “You just don't have words to describe that kind of thing.”

Bingham has been advocating for years for crosswalk safety at 400 West. She has lived in the neighborhood for 18 years and has four children between 6 and 15 years old.

“My kids and I will be standing here waiting to cross to get to the other side, and cars will just continue to pass by and pass by,” Bingham said.

Three years ago, she spearheaded the effort to get the city to paint on the crosswalk lanes. Then in July of 2017, she worked with the Provo Bicycle Committee to raise awareness about bicyclist and pedestrian safety by using grant money to paint the crosswalks bright colors, and she said drivers noticed them and stopped.

“We've had too many near misses in this neighborhood," she said. "My 6-year-old son was almost hit twice within the same month last summer in July.”

Provo City Councilman Dave Harding said he has worked closely with Bingham. Harding even lives nearby that intersection and knows it is tough to cross, but also said increasing the safety there is a challenge.

He said Bingham has mentioned raising the crosswalks, but the Provo Street Department expresses the concern that when they plow the roads, those raised crosswalks would make things difficult for crews. Harding added the Provo Police Department is underfunded.

He said the city is working to give the department more money to hire five more patrol officers to enforce pedestrian safety laws. Harding also mentioned changes coming to the “Complete Streets” policy next month. He said the city is voting to make crosswalk safety a priority when it comes to street design.