Distracted driving causing eyesores in Downtown South Bend

NOW: Distracted driving causing eyesores in Downtown South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Distracted driving is causing an eyesore on the newly revamped Downtown South Bend.
If you’ve taken a drive down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard recently you may have spotted some of those new street lights plowed down to the ground.

Good news, the city is not responsible for paying for the damages. Bad news, these lights were just put up as part of the renovations downtown.

The Deputy Director of Public Works, Jitin Kain, says the city was aware of the situation now they’re working on making sure it doesn’t happen.

“These are two instances of distracted driving,” says Kain. “The two drivers were in the right turn lane, heading northbound. Instead of turning right they went straight and hit light poles on the sidewalk.”

Earlier this week two of the brand new light poles were smashed down by drivers not paying attention.
Kain says the city’s moving forward now with fixing the issue. “When instances like this happen, our engineers have to evaluate and look at the accident report and then recommend how to address the issue.”

Accident reports have been filed and that information has been shared with the contractor.
“They will be replaced by Reith Riley, who will go after the insurance of the two drivers,” says Kain.

Kain adds that means the city of South Bend is not paying restoration costs. What they are focusing on, however, is the safety of pedestrians and other drivers.

“Safety is always something we’re concerned about. As these accidents have occurred were going to look at what measures we can take to avoid something like this in the future.”

Right now, Kain says they’re dealing with this internally and hopefully address issue by adding new signage.

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