by: Tom Regan Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A dangerous Gwinnett intersection, where a student ran into traffic and was hit by a police officer earlier this year, has received safety improvements.
The intersection at Wisteria Drive and East Main Street in Snellville is near South Gwinnett High School. Drivers have long complained about students dashing between cars to go to shops and fast food restaurants. One student crossing illegally ran into the side of a police officer's car, but was not hurt.
The Georgia Department of Transportation partnered with the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation to erect four new crossing signal posts, a pedestrian island with push-button signal changers, and new street paint at the crosswalks. Snellville’s police chief told Channel 2's Tom Regan the purpose is to encourage students to use the crosswalk properly and not cross through traffic.
"We have been trying for about three years to see what we could do to improve the pedestrian safety there," said Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead.
Parents told Regan they are happy to see the intersection get a safety upgrade right before students return to school.
“A lot of times, I watch children. They just run out onto the street. They’re not thinking. They’re texting, talking to their friends. We don’t want our kids to get hurt, so I think it’s a great effort if we’re going to do something about this here," said parent Ruth Smith.
The police chief has asked school officials to encourage students to use crosswalks properly and know that they can be fined if they cross the street illegally.