New deaf child traffic signs installed to warn drivers to slow down in St. Pete

8 On Your Side

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side Investigates is getting results for a family concerned about their deaf child’s safety in St. Petersburg.

They say they’ve tried to get specialized signs installed to warn drivers to slow down for approximately three months.

Denise Evans lives with her 8-year-old granddaughter Vi’Shayla near 31st Street and 6th Avenue.

“They are flying on this road,” Evans said. “My worst fear is that a car may be coming real fast and nobody sees her.”

Evans says her granddaughter Vi’Shayla was born deaf.

“She does sign… and she’s very intelligent,” she said.

However, unlike other kids, Evans said Vi’Shayla cannot hear any noise from oncoming traffic.

After noticing speeders in the area, the family no longer allows the 8-year-old to play outside.

“Sometimes, I see cars coming along the road but I can’t get her attention,” she said. “She loves to come out here and play and now she feels confined.”

Evans said the solution seemed easy. The family requested signs posted on their street to warn speeders about a deaf child in the area.

“We’ve been calling the city,” said Evans. “We’ve been getting dead-end… Results, that’s what we want.”

The family called 8 On Your Side Investigates for assistance. News Channel 8’s Mahsa Saeidi contacted Michael Frederick with the St. Petersburg Neighborhood Transportation department about the issue.

Within days, two bright yellow signs popped up on Evans’ street.

According to Frederick, the delay was due to a miscommunication between the family and the department. The initial work order could not be processed because the family had not followed the right procedure in requesting the sign.

Now that the issue is cleared up, everyone’s hope is that drivers will hit the breaks.

8 On Your Side Investigates asked the city about the proper procedure required when requesting a sign.

According to Frederick, the resident must first contact the Department of Transportation. The department will investigate and determine if a sign is necessary to either regulate, guide or warn the public.

Once a review is completed, a work order is issued to the operating department for installation. Stormwater, Pavement & Traffic Operations then schedule manufacture and installation based on their priorities, manpower and priority projects.

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