Helper Council Approves Traffic Improvement Purchase


Helper City Police Officer Lara Olson visited the council during its meeting on Thursday evening to request the purchase of a flashing stop sign, which would cost approximately $1,700.

Officer Olson explained that on Feb. 28, she monitored the intersection of North Main and Bryner Street. Though she did not pull over a single car, she watched and counted. From about 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., which is certainly not the busiest time of day for that particular intersection, Olson witnessed most of the vehicles slowly passing through through the stop, while some simply blew through it.

She then presented the council with statistics that she had researched beforehand. Side impacts resulted in over 3,000 fatal car accidents in 2020. That number reflects 23% of all fatal accidents in 2020, with head-on accidents being the only one that topped them.

The officer said that if a vehicle is traveling approximately 35 miles per hour and is hit at full speed, it is often fatal. She stated that especially with that intersection being a five-way, it is a huge problem. There has not been a fatal accident there yet, but she credited that as amazing with how many people cruise through the sign.

Olson believes that if the city puts a flashing spot sign there, which operates via a solar panel, it would get drivers’ attention and make them stop. She also said that the particular westbound stop sign by Ron’s Meats, out of all five in the intersection, is the one that is creating the biggest issue.

Officer Olson also addressed how it is so close to Sally Mauro Elementary and that the school traffic creates a greater issue. With this, she wanted to bring the council an option for possible improvement, though she agreed that there could be alternative ideas or solutions.

Ultimately, the council approved purchasing a flashing stop sign that would not exceed $1,700 in order to allow shopping around for options. They also agreed to paint “stop” on the road at sign.

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