Lighted Stops for School Buses Provided Through City Effort

Safety Concerns Triggered Survey of Dangerous Locations


Last updated 9/14/2023 at 11:55am

News file photo

Early-morning school bus stops will be made safer through the use of new LED street lights recently installed by Duke Energy at the request of the City of Lake Wales.

All 130 school bus stops throughout Lake Wales are well-lit following the efforts of city staff.

The improvements came after a thorough assessment was completed by City of Lake Wales staff who identified bus stop locations from reports provided by the Polk County School District and the Lake Wales Charter Schools system.

"Staff in the streets department and police department evaluated school bus stops within the city limits and pinpointed locations that accommodated both school districts," City Manager James Slaton said.

The city worked with Duke Energy to install or repair streetlights at 17 locations. The enhancements came quickly in response to staff locating bus stops with inadequate lighting. Staff is further evaluating dark areas in the northwest neighborhood that may require new or modified streetlights.

"We're expanding our lighting assessment to other areas of the city," Slaton added. At the city's request, Duke Energy is also upgrading existing street lights throughout the city with brighter, energy-efficient LED lights.

News file photo

Lake Wales City Manage4r James Slaton directed city staff to coordinate with Polk County Schools and the Lake Wales Charter School System to identify and survey every bus stop in the city to ensure that each had adequate lighting.

The city effort came In the wake of a tragic predawn accident February 3 in which a 13-year-old student was killed by a truck at a dark school bus stop. Jadin Galindo, 13, was waiting for his school bus in the dark at about 6:15 am when he was struck by a 2013 GMC Sierra truck. According to police reports the alleyway where he was sitting, near the intersection of Miami Street and Dr. JA Wiltshire Avenue and Florida's Natural Growers, was unlighted.

"Duke Energy Florida is proud to support the City of Lake Wales' efforts to enhance street lighting at bus stops and throughout the community they serve," said Duke Energy Florida's Government and Community Relations Manager Nancy Dodd. "The company expedited the city's request and ensured the new lights were installed for the school year."

Editor's note: This story was enhanced with additional information provided by News staff.


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