March 26, 2023 3:55 pm

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. — Brevard County 11-year-old Lauren Wengel is shining a light on pedestrian security with her science project.

What You Will need To Know

  • An 11-year-old girl from Brevard County is raising awareness about pedestrian security with her science project
  • The experiment involved testing the effectiveness of flagged crosswalks at Ocean Avenue in Melbourne Beach
  • Higher visibility crosswalks can minimize pedestrian crashes by 40%, according to the Space Coast Transportation Arranging Organization

The fifth-grader from Gemini Elementary in Melbourne Beach knew what she wanted to do for her experiment soon after two deadly accidents involving pedestrians occurred in her region.

Lauren’s experiment aimed to raise awareness of the dangers persons face when crossing the street.

She became concerned about pedestrian security soon after witnessing two girls obtaining hit by automobiles whilst crossing State Road A1A, a single of whom went to her college.

Lauren decided to turn into a pedestrian herself and carried out her experiment at the Ocean Avenue crosswalk, which is equipped with vibrant orange flags like quite a few other folks in the region.

Lauren’s parents, Chad and Wendi, watched closely as their daughter attempted to cross the road with and devoid of a flag.

According to Wendi Wengel, 16 automobiles passed by and none of them stopped when Lauren did not have a flag. As soon as the experiment was more than, 70% of the drivers stopped when Lauren had the flag.

Although flagged crosswalks are tools typically applied by neighborhood towns like Melbourne Beach, they are not recognized as formal countermeasures by the Federal Highway Administration.

Having said that, higher visibility crosswalks, which includes signage, lighting, and road markings, can minimize pedestrian crashes by 40%, according to the Space Coast Transportation Arranging Organization.

Lauren’s mom is proud of her daughter’s tough function and caring for the neighborhood. “Just a tiny particular person waving a flag caught the interest of so numerous persons,” says Wendi.

Lauren says she’s glad she place in the work for her month-extended project. “It really is not secure to not use a flag,” she says.

The Space Coast TPO is preparing to repave the region of Ocean Avenue in the coming years and function with FDOT to improve pedestrian security in the region.

This could involve much more flags at crosswalks.

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