After a recent accident that seriously injured a student at Western Boone, a group of concerned agencies worked to make the intersection of Ind. 32 and Ind. 75 safer.
Several security measures have been added at the Dover crossroads.
Improvements include buzz bands added to Ind. 75 and 32, new speed limit signs to 45 mph, an extended speed reduction zone on the Ind. 32 and new “stop ahead” signs on all four sides.
Portable speed radar signs will be added soon.
On March 30, a two-car crash nearly claimed Mateline Shelton’s life when the vehicle she was a passenger in turned in front of an SUV. The accident caused Shelton’s lungs to collapse and fill with blood. She survived the crash and is at home recovering, but accidents at the intersection have happened more than a few times.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office, officials from the Western Boone School Company, state lawmakers and the Indiana Department of Transportation worked together to find solutions to the intersection danger. INDOT spokeswoman Debbie Calder said the intersection had been guarded for years but did not qualify for a full traffic light due to the number of vehicles.
“Normally, for a traffic light to be recommended at an intersection, the traffic volumes must meet the minimum volumes required,” Calder said. “It must last at least eight hours and this intersection only lasted three hours out of eight.”
The minimum standards are listed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. Stop signs on the Ind. 75 have LED lights delineating the octagon to attract more attention. According to the Indiana Owner’s Manual, at a flashing yellow, left-turning vehicles must give way to oncoming traffic.
INDOT is looking into removing the flashing signal above as it creates some confusion, Calder said. She said road safety depends on the four “Es”: education, engineering, law enforcement and emergency response.
Boone County Sheriff’s Office Public Information NCO Wesley Garst said the intersection was typically guarded at the start and end of the school day at Western Boone Jr. High school.
“I know there’s a petition out there to try to get a traffic light,” Garst said. “A lot of the community wants to see a traffic light there.”
A few days after the accident, there was a virtual meeting of relevant officials to discuss options to improve safety at the intersection.
“We will all continue to work with everyone involved to ensure this intersection continues to see improvements in safety,” said Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen. “It was great to see the collaboration of everyone involved and I have no doubts that the collaboration and partnership will continue.”