Online petition pushes for installation of traffic light after 12-year-old hit and killed

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 23:41:42-04

NORFOLK, Va. - After the tragic death of a 12-year-old who was hit and killed on a busy intersection, an online petition is asking the city to install a traffic light.

Leticia Latham said she heard about what happened to Gregory Bateman, Jr. and wanted to take action. Bateman, Jr. was leaving the library on a bike with friends around 5 p.m., according to Norfolk Police. It happened on Princess Anne Road and Majestic Avenue, near an elementary school.

"Immediately it prompted me to start a petition, go door-to-door knocking and informing people of what happened," said Latham.

Lathan, who lives in the Broad Creek neighborhood, added she had emailed the principal of the elementary school asking for a traffic light. However, she didn't really follow up.

After hearing of Bateman, Jr.'s death, she knew something needed to change.

"People aren’t paying attention to the road signage or anything like that. You see speeding, people in a rush," said Latham.

She, along with nearly 3,000 other people who signed the petition, are hoping a traffic light will slow cars down and make it easier to cross the street. They are also hoping it will prevent another tragic death.

"We just want to know what is the city’s plan for Broad Creek - for this neighborhood - so we can make it safe for people to travel the road and the sidewalks," said Latham.

After Latham spoke in front of city council Tuesday night, a city employee came over to speak with her. Latham told News 3 the employee said Norfolk is already looking into incorporating Vision Zero, a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic. That program was something Latham mentioned in her speech to city council.