Traffic light to improve safety at dangerous intersection - 8 News NOW

Traffic light to improve safety at dangerous intersection

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LAS VEGAS - A dangerous intersection in the southwest valley will be getting a little safer. A new traffic signal is being turned on at the intersection of Blue Diamond Road and Cimarron Road.

The new traffic signal will be activated at 1:30 p.m. Thursday after a news conference with Nevada Department of Transportation officials.

Construction crews started building the stoplight and crosswalk in June, but the community has been complaining about this stretch of road for more than a year.

Traffic8 featured the intersection in a Driving You Crazy segment in March 2013. Viewers wanted a light, because the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, and pedestrians frequently cross the road. At the time, NDOT said the intersection didn’t meet the agency’s criteria for a traffic signal.

A series of crashes changed NDOT’s perspective. In June 2013, a pedestrian died after a hit and run accident at the intersection.

In November 2013, 14-year-old Helen Liu died after a vehicle struck her and two other teens as they crossed the road.

"Nobody can, from this side, go directly to that side, because cars are so fast," said Helen’s father Hui Liu.

“We can't have this again. We can't have girls crossing the street and being killed just because they want to go get a Big Gulp," said State Sen. Justin Jones (Clark County-D).

Days later, a crash occurred a short distance away from a vigil for that 14-year-old girl. 8 News NOW’s Patranya Bhoolsuwan was covering the vigil and witnessed the accident as it occurred.

“This crash happened just as the news stations were all going live here at the top of the five o’clock newscast. This blue SUV right behind me came feet to where we’re all standing. We all had to dodge to get out of the way real fast," she reported at the time.

The community and state lawmakers got involved and demanded action. NDOT completed another traffic study and, in May, decided a new traffic signal was warranted.

The speed limit is set to remain at 55 miles per hour, but NDOT officials say the agency may consider lowering it if cars continue to speed and cause crashes.

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