Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

A safety hazard…

Not long after I arrived at work on Monday, I received a call from a loyal reader. His message was one of concern. He told me about the special signal at the Frametown Elementary School. We both remember the reason for those lighted signs which resulted some years ago, when a young teacher leaving school was struck by another vehicle and killed.

My caller said he had noticed the sign being down for some time, but was particularly concerned about it now that school was back in session.

After the call, I wasn’t sure whether the sign and flashing lights were the responsibility of the Department of Highways or the Educational System. The discussion with my reader lead us both to believe that it was probably the Board of Education. To make sure I called someone I knew could get the bottom of it… Brent Boggs. Brent agreed with our assessment but said he would contact the DOH to make sure.

Later in the day, he called me back and said he had spoken to DOH officials. They had sent a representative to the school and determined that… yes, the sign belonged to school and secondly it was probably damaged beyond repair. He also said the DOH had agreed to place a temporary, non-lighted sign at the school to help take care of the issue while the Board worked on a more permanent fix.

While I was waiting on information from Brent, I emailed Brenda Wells at the Central Office. She promptly answered, saying the Board was aware of the situation and agreed that the sign probably wasn’t repairable. She explained that their information indicated that the original damage occurred when a drunk driver hit the signal devise and then left the scene before authorities arrived. She also mentioned that a replacement is estimated to cost around $20,000.

I can’t thank Brent enough for his diligent and speedy work. Hopefully that temporary sign will be in place within a few days and will give the area and school traffic some relief.

I certainly realize that with a new school year and new system leadership Dr. Wells and the entire administration is extremely busy right now. Hopefully today’s inquiries and action will put the lights back on track for a permanent solution. I remember the accident that set that project in motion and while any loss of life is too much, that accident, stands out as one of the most tragic in my career of nearly 50 years. I’m sure no one wants a repeat of such a disaster, so while the powers that be, deal with this issue, we all need to remember… school is in session and we need to drive carefully particularly around our school and our precious children!