Signal Needed to Improve Traffic Flow

Frequent accidents at the same intersection spark safety concern 

Kayla Gonzalez, Staff Writer



Within the same month, two car accidents happened outside of Decatur High School. The same thing happened in both incidents. One driver pulled out of the school driveway, while another attempted to pull into the driveway. Each time, the paramedics, firefighters and police came to the scene to direct traffic and assess the welfare of the people involved.

With these accidents occuring too frequently in a short amount of time, a traffic light installed in the intersection to better control the flow of cars makes sense in order to prevent further incidents. 

By adding a light, the liklihood of frequent accidents decreases because the traffic light can direct vehicles more safely ito the parking lot than relying on inexperienced teen drivers and rushed parents during chaotic drop-off and pick-up times to make the call. With the intersection outside of the high school with constant traffic flow, it just adds more caution and safety for the people of Decatur. 

Before adding a traffic light anywhere, the city must evaluate the different factors such as the crash history, amount of traffic, delay to existing traffic flow, size of community, etc. Since Decatur, Texas continues to grow each year, it becomes more important to make sure residents stay safe, especially when taking their kids to school. The traffic light itself can cost anywhere from $80,000-$100,000 to install, but in the end, the investment is worth it considering it keeps drivers safe. 

The next step to the process includes Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, approving of the additional light to the requested spot. Sometimes they deny a request because of a better alternative, but in this case, the intersection in front of the school continues to pose a threat to drivers’ safety each day. 

As the area begins to grow, the more the traffic comes with it, meaning taking action early remains an imperative step in keeping people safe, especially student drivers who are still working to improve driving skills.