Parents across the Valley are asking for new road signs to be put up in neighborhoods that would warn drivers there are children with special needs nearby.
WAAY 31 spoke with two moms who are petitioning for these signs and learned why they think the signs are so important.
“A couple weeks ago, we were out in the front yard, doing some gardening and some work in the flowerbeds, and a local delivery truck came flying through at an excessive speed," said Kari Whisenant.
That’s when Whisenant realized something’s got to be done about the speeding problem in her Union Grove neighborhood—not for her—but for her child’s safety.
“He is a 24/7 job to keep an eye on," she said.
Whisenant’s son Greyson has autism, and even though he’s seven years old, Whisenant says he has the mind of a two-year-old and doesn’t understand danger.
“He would not even know to stop and look for a car coming," she said.
And Greyson isn’t the only one.
Megan Mullins, from New Market, has an autistic child as well, and says she has the same problem.
“It would take one time—just one time—for me to bend down and tie my shoe and my daughter dart across the road and somebody hit her," Mullins said.
And that’s why Mullins and Whisenant want something done.
They want signs that warn people that there are children with special needs within the neighborhood.
“If we can make one car slow down and realize, you know, to just take an extra second to look and pay attention, then that’s one less car we have to worry about," Whisenant said.
The concerned moms have started a petition for the signs and have already gained a lot of support.
“I’ve had a lot of parents reach out from all over the state—even other states—that are looking into this and hoping that it does come their way to protect their special needs child as well," Whisenant said.
They say they hope the petition will open the eyes of local and state officials, and they’ll allow the signs to be put up.
“It would be one step closer to us getting people aware that there are disabilities within the neighborhood and that you need to be careful of all types of children," Mullins said.
WAAY 31 has reached out to the county commissioners for both districts, but we still haven’t heard back from them yet.