Polk residents want road changes after bus crash

Recent accidents have some calling for traffic signals to be erected.

LAKELAND -- Some people who live near an intersection in Polk County say they avoid it at all costs, because it's just too dangerous.

“If I go there, it’s just ‘cause there’s no other way to go,” said Harold Wiles, who lives nearby.

There have been 17 crashes at the intersection of North Galloway and Swindell roads in the past five years, according to county records. Twelve people were injured.

Those data don’t include the latest crash, which happened Tuesday morning. A pickup truck and a school bus carrying 20 students were involved.

“I would hope that that gets somebody's attention, and the county puts some lights in there or does something,” Wiles said.

The speed limit is 45 miles per hour, but people who live there said a lot of drivers don't follow it.

“There has to be something done, but what it is, heaven knows,” Lois Kelley said.

The Polk County Roads and Drainage department director, Jay Jarvis, said an intersection has to meet certain criteria before the county adds a stoplight.

“So that we're not just putting signals in at every single intersection, just because there's either perceived concern or concern,” he explained.

It's based on the number of crashes at the intersection and the amount of cars that go through it.

The county took a look at North Galloway and Swindell in January and found no reason to make changes. After the school bus crash, they're going to look at it again to make sure if you drive there, you're safe.

The county is also building a park near the intersection. When it's done, they think there might be more cars driving near there, so they'd need to add a stoplight.


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