Sidewalks in Leawood warn students to look up from phones at cro - KCTV5 News

Sidewalks in Leawood warn students to look up from phones at crosswalks

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(Kelli Taylor/KCTV) (Kelli Taylor/KCTV)

Officials at Leawood Elementary and Middle Schools are reminding students to put their phones down when they approach a crosswalk and they’re using a unique tactic to do it.

“Kids need to, and adults, need to be better nowadays about paying attention,” said Erin Moore.

Moore lives in the neighborhood where the Blue Valley School District painted the sidewalks with phrases like “Eyes up. Phone down.” and “Make eye contact.”

They did it recently to create a needed distraction for people who walk and use cell phones.

“They’re not necessarily likely to recognize a sign that says, ‘You’re coming up to a crosswalk,’ but they might see the contrast with the pavement from what they’re used to seeing,” said Scott Crain, Director of Design and Construction for the school district. “The letters. Those might make them look up and recognize what’s going on.”

It is working.  

Moore walks in the area about five times a week and said she’s become more aware of her surroundings since they have popped up.

“I get to this spot and I’m always, like, making sure that I’m looking up and around and not being the guilty one that’s on my phone like I always am,” she said.

While it isn’t necessarily a problem area, Crain said keeping students safe is a high priority.

“The concern comes in when either the pedestrian or the driver is distracted, and we see that occur more and more these days,” he said.

The painted crosswalks are currently at two schools in the district, but the hope is to have it districtwide soon.

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