FARMINGTON -- Two scouts who lost a friend in an auto-pedestrian accident earlier this year have gained permission to initiate a pilot program putting crossing flags at key intersections throughout the city.
Hunter and Spencer Benson successfully lobbied the city council to use an Eagle Scout project to place crossing flags at four key intersections. They initiated the effort after 16-year-old Andrew Tolman was hit by an SUV while walking his bike in a crosswalk at State Street and 400 West on March 27. Tolman died en route to the hospital.
City council members voted to implement a six-month pilot program on the crossing flags at four intersections, including the intersection where Tolman was hit. The project is expected to cost approximately $1,000 to implement and the two scouts have already raised $750 to put towards the project.
The council vote for the pilot program came despite advice from Timothy Taylor, a traffic engineer, that crossing flags come with mixed results.
Tolman's parents attended the meeting and Jeff Tolman suggested it may be too late to save his son, but he hoped the project would have an impact on others.
"It won't fill the hole in our hearts and our family but it may solve it for someone else," Jeff Tolman said of the program. "What are we hurt having a little more safety?" he asked.
Besides the flags, Tolman suggested city officials also consider placing policemen at several intersections to see if cars yield to pedestrians with flags.
Besides 400 West and State Street, the intersections are 800 West Shephard Lane, 200 South and 200 East and 150 South and 200 West.
As part of the pilot program, city staff has been asked to report to the council in six months on the success of the program.