More than 15 states, including Utah, South Carolina and Minnesota, had already used a similar program for some of their cities and found a way to pay for the flags through sponsorships, Battles said.
Some cities allowed residents and business owners to sponsor the bucket and flags, which required them to maintain the items and replace the flags if they were stolen, she said. Other cities sponsored half the costs, and residents and businesses sponsored the remaining costs of maintaining the flags and bucket, Battles said.
A single bucket with flags at a crosswalk would cost $250, which she said is a small price to pay to save lives and prevent accidents.
“If it prevents the [death] of one person, it’s worth it,” Battles said.
A 10-year-old boy was struck Feb. 11 by a motorist at a crosswalk at Orange and La Crescenta avenues as he was walking to class at Monte Vista Elementary School.
The boy wasn’t injured, but the incident has struck a chord with Battles.
“I was so angry,” she said.
Council members discussed Thursday the possibility of making it a pilot program at the elementary schools. School employees and students would be educated about the program before it started.
“I am kind of focused on schools because that’s where the problem is,” Battles said.
But some council members expressed concerns about the safety flags program if it was to be implemented in town.
“I think that you’ll have people stealing the flags,” Councilman Steve Goldsworthy said.
Some people may steal the flags at first, but Battles said her research showed that people got used to seeing them and stopped stealing. Sponsors also incur the costs of replacing flags that are stolen and make sure the buckets are full, she said.
Councilwoman Grace Andrus was concerned whether the county would support the program, so she said it needed sponsors first.
“The more buy-in we get on the front end, the harder it is for the county to say no,” she said.
Council Vice President Frank Beyt thought the program was a good idea, but he said if it is approved, volunteers should monitor the crosswalk.
“I just don’t want some kid to put the flag out and get hit,” he said.
Battles will give a presentation March 19 about the flags at the Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.