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Preemption System Active At Light Where Girl Hit

Posted: November 4, 2012 at 5:05 a.m.

When Megan Davis stepped onto Southeast 14th Street on an early October afternoon, she had no way of knowing an ambulance turning onto 14th Street had just changed the stoplight pattern at her intersection.

At A Glance

Davis Update

Megan Davis, a student at Bentonville High School, was stuck Oct. 4 by a Bentonville school bus at Southeast 14th and Southeast P streets. She was treated at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., and has since been transferred to The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research at Memorial Hermann in Houston.

Source: Staff Report

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Looks like poor design of the pedestrian signal to me. 8 seconds of flashing is enough time to walk to the middle of the traffic lane if not to the middle of the road. Most people will walk on the flashing sign, just a bit faster. It seems like a yellow caution sign for traffic. The signal should go immediately to solid on a pre-emp signal.

Posted by: ajm

November 4, 2012 at 6:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A further thought...ambulances aren't exactly stealth vehicles. If it was close enough to trigger the pre-emptive system then the siren should have alerted pedestrians that something was coming regardless of the traffic signal status. Was the victim texting or blasting her ears with an ipod?

Posted by: ajm

November 4, 2012 at 7:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

That's a great question, ajm. The ambulance had its sirens and lights off at the request of the patient it was transporting. The city's policy regarding the preemption system allows ambulances to preempt the light and leave sirens off if drivers feel it would worsen the patient's condition.

Posted by: MistyGittings

November 4, 2012 at 9:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )