Student-led flashing crosswalk signs unveiled at AACT

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A new flashing lights system was unveiled Wednesday, January 15, 2019 at a crosswalk outside of the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology off Edison Way in Reno. It was all thanks to a group of students at AACT who came up with the idea for a school project.

"In the beginning it was really hard to know where to start and how to fund raise,” Avery Pipkin, a student at AACT said, “So we just got out in the media and started a GoFundMe."

The students started raising money for the project around November 2019 for the flashing crosswalk signs. A few months and a lot of determination later, they are officially up and running.

"We’re really grateful we were given this opportunity to install these flashing lights so quickly and maybe save the life of another student, Quincy Maross, a student at AACT said.

"A lot of students use the crosswalk, especially during school, students who go over to TMCC and have a class over there, so there are a lot of us that use it every day," Pipkin said.

"Nothing speaks louder than when you have students who attend the school and should feel safe when they go to school and when they leave school that they're a part of the conversation so it's exciting to see them and the community members surround get excited and make something happen," Oscar Delgado, Reno City Councilmen said.

Since the start of this school year in August 2019, district leaders say more than 20 Washoe County School District students have been hit by cars. That statistic is another reason these students wanted to make a change near their school.

"Their advocacy, dedication, and love demonstrate that it takes all of us to advocate for improvements and changes for our streets and roads," Dr. Kristen McNeill, Interim Superintendent for the Washoe County School District said.

Now more than ever, officials are reminding drivers and students crossing the street to enforce pedestrian safety.

"Please slow down, put your devices away, and drive without distractions when possible,” Malena Raymond, Washoe County School board President said, “Please remain vigilant when you're driving in areas where kids are present."

It’s also important pedestrians make eye contact with the driver and steer clear of distractions such as cell phones when walking in the street.

The group of students behind this project hopes to add the flashing lights system at McQueen High School in the future. For more information, click here.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020