LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles is putting student safety on top of its priority list, after several recent incidents of students being hit by vehicles.
Mayor Nic Hunter said after learning about the two students who were hit on a crosswalk at Barbe High School, his administration began discussing ways to improve conditions for students crossing the street to and from school.
"The safety of students is absolutely paramount," Hunter said.
The city is working with the Louisiana Department of Transportation, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, and local law enforcement to figure out how to prevent future incidents from happening.
"Lake Charles Police went around and had conversations with every principal and school official throughout all schools in Lake Charles," Hunter said. "While this incident happened at Barbe, we realized there are students that cross streets all throughout the city to get to school."
"Everyone of those lives is important to us."
Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, with the Lake Charles Police Department, said it'll take an effort on all sides to ensure someone doesn't get hurt in another incident.
"We're asking for both the drivers and the students to be situationally aware of their surroundings," Kraus said.
In February, the City requested DOTD begin procedures for consideration of pedestrian crosswalks and signals at the intersection of McNeese Street and Nelson Road to ensure children's safety when crossing lanes of traffic on Nelson Road.
In response, DOTD will install pedestrian signal heads and push buttons at the intersection.
The city is installing sidewalks from Barbe High School east to Nelson Road on the north.
Further, the Lake Charles Police Department will provide a motor officer visible near school zones during pickup and drop-off times, when units are available.