While reading through the comments on a Facebook Post in Provo Forward, Susie Slattery Record told me about a Wasatch Elementary crossing guard who decks himself out in fully-metallic clothing to be as visible as possible to drivers. He sounded like a character that I had to meet.
I found him at about 3:15pm on Monday, May 13 on the corner of 900 E and Birch Lane/Heritage Drive setting out his traffic cones to get ready for his shift.
Robert’s crosswalk outfit includes a sequinned superman trucker cap, a metallic silver long-sleeve shirt, a silver chain, orange visibility vest, bright white pants with gold and silver sequins, and bright white sneakers with all sorts of colors on them. If that doesn’t catch drivers’ attention, there is no hope left in this world.
Robert told me he is from Nigeria and works both as a security guard and a crosswalk guard. This is his favorite of the two because he loves interacting with the kids and helping them get safely across the wide and high-speed 900 East. He does such a good job that parents who drive their children to school regularly drop their kids off in the parking lots near his intersection so he can help them safely cross the street.
Though it is a tough job being a crossing guard–there have been incidents of Provo crossing guards being hit by careless drivers–Robert says about 95% of drivers he deals with are kind and do slow down. Of course, we hope for a city where street design would slow drivers down so crossing guards don’t have to put themselves at risk, but until then we have everyday heroes like Robert.
Thank you Robert for all you do to keep Provo children safe!
The mayors office asked me to write an essay about why people should bike in Provo. Sadly it didn’t make it into this quarter’s Involved magazine–too many other good things to choose from–but I wanted to make sure it got read.
All of you already know why you should bike but I think you’ll enjoy the story in the beginning of Alan and Erin Farnes who went car-free earlier this year.
Thanks for reading!
Getting hit by a driver while riding a bike can be disorienting and confusing. Your initial reaction might be to get up and say you’re okay or to get in a fight with the driver. However, there is a correct way to approach the situation. The following steps come from CityLab:
- Stay calm and move out of the street
- Keep the driver there
- Call the police and wait for them
- Collect the driver’s information and take tons of photos
- When the police come, make your voice heard
- Seek medical attention ASAP
- Start and insurance claim
- Call a lawyer
For more in-depth information, Utah Bicycle Lawyers Christensen & Hymas literally wrote the book on dealing with bicycle accidents in Utah and they give it out for free. Check it out!