Parents of special needs kids want Mobile to install warning signs for speeding drivers


    (IMG: WPMI) Parents of special needs kids want Mobile to install warning signs for speeding drivers

    Parents in the Pinehurst community want the city to install safety signs warning drivers that there are special needs kids in the neighborhood.

    Some parents tell NBC 15 people drive way too fast in this neighborhood and that it's critical to get those signs installed.

    "I am at a loss of what I can do about it as a mom," says April Shaw.

    Autistic child in the area- slow down is the sign some parents in the Pinehurst community are pleading the city to provide as well as more speed limit signs to help protect their special needs children.

    "It might people think twice as far as just a generic sign. They have signs for deaf children in areas, but special needs children that aren't deaf could be just as at risk because they don't always think things through," says Nathaniel "Dusty" Harris.

    Dusty Harris has an 15-year-old autistic son named Steven and two toddlers who are always on the go. Harris says he's been trying for years to warn people to slow down placing multiple signs along the streets.

    "Those signs got hit several times because people weren't paying attention. I have had some that I put out where people would go so fast and so close to them that it would actually blow down the signs, so we stopped playing out here all together because of it," he says.

    Just a couple of streets away April Shaw has an 11-year-old autistic son named Deuce. He loves to play outside too, but Shaw says she is in constant fear about the possibility of him getting struck by a speeding car.

    "It only takes a matter of seconds for him to get 5-10 feet in front of me and if someone is coming and they are going 40-50 mph in a residential area they aren't going to have time to stop and that's been my biggest fear. It just takes seconds," says Shaw.

    She says she reached out to the city but keeps getting the run around.

    For both Harris and Shaw, these signs are critical. They say the roundabouts scattered along the neighborhood are not enough.

    "Whatever was placed in a lot of the roundabouts here has been run over and not replaced so a lot of those drivers cant even see them," says Harris.

    Now, they're begging city officials to step in so they can find some comfort.

    "I think it's critical that this is addressed. The largest loss that someone can have is the loss of a child and knowing if one kid is at risk or gets hurt and we could've done something so simple as put out a sign. We don't take into account how these kids think, how special kids think and putting a sign up here letting them know they are here might make a difference. Anything that the community can do to help alleviate some of that stress is much appreciated by a special needs parent," says Harris.

    NBC 15 reached out to the Councilwoman District 6 Bess Rich. She says the Traffic Engineering Department is in charge of the placement of traffic signs and the type signs regulating traffic throughout the City. We have reached out to the director and are waiting for a response.


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