Cody’s Students Face Dangers from Inattentive Cody Drivers
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 28, 2021
There have been several incidents near Cody schools this January, proving that Cody’s drivers need to take school zones and student safety more seriously.
Park County School District #6 Superintendent Peg Monteith was informed of several dangerous encounters between vehicles and Cody school district students, staff, and buses. In just the last week:
- A Cody High School student was crossing Sheridan Avenue by City Park when they were hit by a vehicle. The student’s ankle was injured but there was no other serious injury.
- A crossing guard at Eastside Elementary School was almost hit by a pick-up truck Tuesday morning.
- A district bus driver reported two incidents of vehicles passing a Cody school bus on the North Fork Highway – crossing double yellow lines to do so.
- Another district staff member reported a freight truck speeding through the school zone on Big Horn Avenue Wednesday morning.
Monteith confirmed that reports on these incidents are being filed and submitted to the Cody Police Department. Any of these incidents could have been much worse, or even fatal.
The message the superintendent has for the Cody community is simple but powerful: use caution, be mindful and slow down.
“I believe it falls on us individually – as community members and citizens of Cody – to be mindful and pay attention when we’re driving,” Monteith says. “These accidents can happen in a second, in the blink of an eye. It’s a game-changer – life-changing for everyone involved. I urge all of us to pay attention. Don’t drive distracted. Please pay attention, especially around crosswalks and buses. We don’t want our kids to be in harm’s way.”
This discussion isn’t happening in a vacuum. Earlier this month, the safety of Cody students was called into question after a Cody Middle School student was injured after suffering a “glancing blow” from a semi-truck while crossing at the intersection of Big Horn Avenue and Freedom Street.
Park County School District #6 is meeting with the City of Cody later this week to continue discussions on a solution to the dangers facing students on Big Horn Avenue. Discussions with WYDOT to find a tangible solution are ongoing.
WYDOT issued a statement saying they are aware of the dangers on Big Horn Avenue and are working towards a permanent solution. In their mind, planning for a long-term solution – like a traffic light or pedestrian overpass – is essential, instead of a short-term fix that would only give an illusion of pedestrian safety.
But crossing improvements won’t be enough – any safety precautions installed are useless if Cody’s drivers aren’t paying attention.
Cody Beers, WYDOT Public Relations Specialist, wants Cody drivers to be aware of the consequences – legal and otherwise – of ignoring school buses and pedestrian crossings.
“You have to stop. If that school bus is stopped with red flashing lights and the stop paddle out, you have to stop. It’s the law,” Beers said.
Stay tuned to KODI and mybighornbasin.com for a full interview with Cody Beers on traffic laws and pedestrian safety in regard to the incidents occurring in Cody.
In the meantime, the best solutions are in the decisions being made by Cody’s drivers, as they are the ones “at the wheel” in these dangerous situations.